Hi! I'm a newbie on the forum called Sarah. I live in St. Ives, Cornwall, in England.
Millie, my three and a half year old black lab, is eight kilograms overweight - which classes her as Obese. Last year she was only 30 kilos (which made her 4 kilos overweight anyway) but now she has put on an additional 4 kilos over one year.
She is not spayed, which makes her predicament even more strange, because I started exercising her more and reducing her diet last year.
She is fed a Tesco Complete Dry Dog Food (about a handful) with half a can of food each day. I no longer feed her titbits (she used to get small dog biscuits once a week, but no longer does), and I am now walking her twice daily (one walk to a field with a game of fetch, and one country walk which lasts about an hour) instead of just once. I would try feeding her two small meals a day but I can't because I go to University during the day, and I can't trust anyone else to do it because they'll forget or feed her too much, despite the fact we have a reversible note saying whether the dogs have been fed or not.
We're looking for a low calorie mixer instead of the complete food, but I can't think how else to help her lose weight. I have a lack of support at home as my Dad likes to pretend there's nothing wrong with her and leaves food on counters, on floors, and generally in places where it's easily accessible. He isn't making it easy for her to succeed and claims that the Vet is exaggerating her weight problems and its expected effects on her health.
There are five people in the house. My Mum and Dad work long hours but never exercise Millie at all (they are quite busy). My brother works occasionally but also never exercises her. My cousin does on occasion but not often, and he works long hours too.
I go to University every day except Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (it is a four hour return journey) which often leaves me a bit tired. I also work at the weekends, usually, doing a physically demanding cleaning job. All of Millie's exercise is either left to me or my Fiance, who works too.
Has anyone else ever been in this situation?
My Dad knows very little about labs and breeding and yet wants her to have a litter - as I've explained Millie is nearly four, which would make her too old to have puppies, she's overweight, which isn't ideal, and he doesn't understand about hip or eye tests. He thinks you just leave them overnight when they're in labour and come down to a litter of puppies in the morning. He won't listen to anything I've told him about how real breeders actually work. He doesn't even believe Millie has anal glands and thought I just made it up "to be weird," despite the fact Millie was rubbing her bottom along the floor.
I feel like I'm the only one who actually cares about Millie's health at all, and the only one willing to make any effort. I pay all her vet bills (including her monthly flea/tick treatments, and her vaccinations), do all her exercise and usually feed her, despite having such a large family.
Sorry for moaning but I'm not sure how common this is.
Is anyone else in the same situation?
P.S Are there any charges for JustLabs.com or is it all free? I didn't see any costs in the Terms and Conditions.
P.S That isn't a real link. It was meant to be a joke
Okay, update. Having been given two weeks off work by surprise, Millie gets about two handfuls of kibble in the morning, after a walk and play, then in the evening gets about two handfuls of cooked pasta (just about warm, to prevent it burning her) along with some chopped meat (usually ham) and some vegetables, such as fresh carrot discs, peas or cabbage (never onions, and where fruit is concerned, never grapes, raisins or apples with pips).
Is this about right? Also, owing to my Uni workload, family and social commitments, I'm finding it hard to squeeze in the second walk. Any tips?
She is much healthier and has stopped hunkering down as much to rest during playtime. Her body is becoming more defined after only a week, but her weight loss is still slow.
Sorry for the moan at the beginning. I'm twenty years old and should have just grown up and stopped complaining, but with five people in the house you'd think you'd get a bit more help!
PS Has anyone ever had fellow dog walkers looking down their noses at their lab and saying things like, "oh, she is awfully fat, isn't she?" although you've told them she's on a weight loss programme?
Great about the weight loss.
Vets tell me a Lab is better on the thinner side rather than fatter. I have been told they are healthier. I keep Ernies weight down as he has jont issues.To give you and idea of weight. Ernie is the standard height and weighs 24.5 kilos. Bit thin for my liking but healthier. About 26 is ideal.
I have had people tell my Lab is too thin after he was sick.
welcome to the board. the following is just my two cents...
1 - don't give food in handfuls but measured quantities so you know exactly what the dog is eating
2 - if you personally cannot MAKE time to exercise the dog at the end of the day (which is part of owning a dog, espeically an active breed like a labrador) then ask a neighbour or friend to help you out. it is hard to make more suggestions as only you know how to mak time in your day or find someone who can walk the dog. Exercise is a very very important part of weight loss for dogs just like it is in humans.
3 - did your vet recommend the pasta and vegetables? I have no idea why this would be a good for the dog. Kibble (dog food) is balances to contain all the aspects of a diet the dog needs (all the nurtients). By cutting the kibble and replacing with pasta and veggies you loose out on that proper balance. Plus, a dog shouldn't need pasta at all. Veggis are fine as a treat and green beens can be a good fillr when cutting back on quantity but I would completely cut out the pasta as it is needless and though I am not sure on how a dog processes pasta but I can't see that helping them loose weight but rather but some on.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Try mixing some green beans in with her food as a filler.
will you be spaying her?
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
I agree with eliminating the pasta - that is not really appropriate for a canine. Just keep her on a measured amount of her kibble and add veggies (like green beans) for filler.
Has she been seen lately by a vet? I would be concerned about the recent weight gain having a medical component.
May I suggest you post some pictures of her here - we'll comment on what we see and then you can show the thread to your dad.
As you know - she should not be bred (there are so many Labs without homes already - why contribute more to the problem) and she should be spayed.
and - Bravo for you for being so knowledgeable and for caring enough to seek out help from this forum.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.