It's been a long time.
Brody is now 3 years old and is tipping the scale at 83 pounds. He has a slight waist that is visible from above and still has a visible tuck. It is NOT easy to feel his ribs. I think we should try to get a few pounds off of him. I feed him Blue Buffalo life protection formula - 2 cups a day with 1/2 cup of green beans with each meal. He is fed twice daily so at each meal he gets one cup of food and 1/2 cup of green beans. Treats consist of cooked and dried deer meat. No seasoning just vension. He does get string cheese during nail trimming. Like most labs he is food driven and the only way we can get those nails trimmed. This is done every 3 weeks alternating the front paws and then the next week will be the back paws. I am now increasing exercise with the warmer weather. My question is, if you have placed your lab on a weight reduction diet, what did you feed him/her (i.e. weight loss dog food vs raw) and how much. I am concerned that the amount I am feeding now has not been providing Brody with the nutrition he requires although his coat is shinny and he looks very healthy. I have been feeding him this amount for the past year. I have read posts with owners not pleased with weight reduction dog food - too many fillers???
I am seeing a new vet this evening. My previous vet wanted to place him on Royal Canin weight reduction food but did not feel it necessary to see him or weigh him again. (His last visit to this vet was in October and he weighted 75 pounds). I was a bit put off with her not wanting to at least see him, look at him, weigh him and then give me her opinion as to whether she thought he needed to shed a few pounds or if I was just crazy LOL. So, I'm off to a new vet that has already asked for the nutritional content/calorie count of the food he is on and also info on his treats. That direction makes sense to me.
I just want a few opinions or suggestions on what may be the best route to take with dry food vs raw and keeping him nutritionally sound.
Most vets have skewed vision of what a lab should weigh. I base the correct weight for my dog on his ribs.
83# doesn't sound like a lot for male lab. One of my boys has been as heavy as a 100# and as low as 88#.
I tend to focus on a good protein food with a lower fat. Not a fan of Blue Buffalo at all. I think the general version of your food is 24/14. It's not really like it's a food that should make the dog fat. Most likely he needs more exercise.
He's already dropped from 83 to 75, your Vet won't look at him or weigh him again and she still wants you to buy and feed him a weight loss food? Have I got that right? I know where I'd be dropping the weight for sure, for sure, and it wouldn't be on the dog.
Not to say Brodie may not need to loose more, but why don't you let us know what the new Vet says? If the food he is on works otherwise just cutting back a bit should do the trick.
Raw food is a whole 'nuther ball game. He could gain or lose on raw just as easily on kibble. It's going to be more work for you to work out what he needs in a raw diet. I like a raw diet but it's more work, and for me more money and time. And now my dog has a condition requiring his diet be very low fat we are back to kibble becasue it's harder to control fat levels on raw. My supplier can't tell me what the fat content of even pre-prepared mixes are, which I don't feed a lot of, let alone whole meats, it can really vary.
I'm sorry what I wrote may have been confusing. Brody weighted 75 pounds at his vet visit in October, 2015. He just saw the new vet on Wednesday (April 13th) and weighed 80 pounds. I liked this vet. He took the time to listen to my concerns. He researched the dired venison I have been feeding as treats. His felt Brody could lose 10 pounds but would evaluate him as his weight loss progresses to see if 10 may be too much. I will be evaluating also since English labs tend to be more "stout" than the American labs.
Now my head is swimming with trying to figure out the best food for Brody. Many have not been thrilled with Blue Buffalo that I have been feeding and the vet was one of them. My research suggests the ideal weight loss food should be higher in proten and lower in fat and fiber. I am looking at Premium Edge Healthy weight reduction. Dog food advisor gie it a 5 star rating with 44% proteion, 12% fat and 5% fiber. I have a call in to the vet for his suggestions on the higher protein formula. He suggested Hills Science diet adult perfect weght and/or Royal Canin. Any thoughts on these or other foods.
I get a bit obsessed with trying to do the best I can for my Brody. Oh, by the way, he had the beginnings of an ear infection which I am treating now. My fault. Was lax on cleaning those ears!! Lesson learned!!
If his coat looks good, he's getting ample nutrition, but yes to the higher protein, lower fat to lose weight. Sounds like he's an easy keeper but have to ask, is he getting any REAL exercise? That's probably all he needs.
If you've not already done so, you may want to ask about bloodwork. Could be his thyroid is a bit low.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Ok, seems to me you have three overlapping issues. 1. Food quality. 2. Weight loss. 3. Vet's recommendation.
1. Food quality. The best food for your dog is the one that works. Blue isn't good for some but if it works for Brody then it might be worth staying with it. For deciding on food quality I like to make up my own mind and not rely on what some (biased) website blog says. I like this one, it tells you how to read labels, and what ingredients really mean: The Dog Food Project - How does your Dog Food Brand compare?
2. Weight Loss. 5 pounds is not a whole lot Brody has to lose. If his food works cutting back a bit might well be all you need. I do note his weight gain happened over winter which is common for many dogs. Is it possible you and Brody will be more active now? That will help. I have assumed you are in the northern hemisphere.
3. Vet's food. I am not anti Vet Rx food, many times it serves a purpose in helping clear up a medical problem, used for a limited time. I feed a Vet Rx food and probably will for life due to a serious medical issue requiring a very low fat diet. For me the small amount of weight loss Brody needs is not a medical problem, I would most likely just cut back on the food that is working now, assuming it is otherwise working fine.
Good luck with your decision.
I really appreciate your feedback! I live in Pennsylvania and yes, we are getting more exercise since the weather is cooperating. (He doesn't mind the cold and snow but I do lol).
I got a reply from the vet through office staff. His response was his previos food suggestion of Royal Canin or Hills Science diet. He said he does not like Diamond food products. The Royal Canin (specific to the breed) - 30% protein, 11.5% fat and a minimum of 5% fiber (but first ingredient is Chicken by-product meal). Hills Science Diet is 28.6%, 12% fat and 11% fiber. I hate the 11% fiber - it's just a filler. I'm probably overthinking this but my gut tells me to try the higher protein dispite what the vet has recommended.
He only gets 2 cups of the Blue Buffalo daily. I'm concerned about cutting that amount back any further. I worry about him not getting the nutrition he needs. His is only 3 years old.
My vet wants to try him on a change of food and close monitoring of snacks/treats; see him in 5 weeks for a weigh-in and if he hasn't shown any progress, do blood work to rule out hypothyroidism. He feels, at his age, this probably isn't an issue but he just saw a 2 year old hound with hypothyroidism.
Brody's coat looks good and other than the ear infection we are treating now, he has been healthy.