Hi, I'm new to this board but glad I found it. Seems to be quite a few knowledgeable people here! Anyway, here's my deal. I have a 5 year old yellow Lab who is now overweight. Due to unforeseen circumstances that arose financially, I was forced to take on second job about a year and a half ago, which drastically cut into my Lab's exercise time. I have been feeding my dog about 2 1/2 cups per day of Iams weight management, but as I said, the exercise hasn't been there consistently. Any thoughts on the amount or type of food my dog is eating? He is VERY food driven, so this is split into two meals daily. He gets 1 cup in the morning and 1 1/2 cups in the evening.
I am posting this in hopes of not getting yelled at. As I said, I am new to this board and not sure what the atmosphere is like around here Well, I just quit my second job, so my 80+ hour work week just turned into a 40-50 hour work week. My first priority is to get my dog healthy again. My plan is to maybe cut down on the amount of food my Lab eats and use green beans as a filler. I also plan to start walking him regularly/daily, starting off with about 1/2 hour or so and gradually increasing as he becomes able to keep up. He has never done too good with retrieving, he loses interest after about 10 minutes unfortunately. This would be a great way to get him exercise. I have tried and tried to train him on this, but he just never seemed to care about it. Odd for a retriever, huh? Any pointers to help get him interested? It was never an issue because I took him out on hikes and walks once or twice a day.
Sorry for the long post, feel free to chime in if you have any suggestions. I would appreciate your input on food type/intake and exercise routines. Thanks.
Hi there - welcome to the forum!I think you pretty much answered your own question here. Your plan sounds perfect. The only thing that I would suggest is getting him off the weight management formula and onto a regular adult maintenance one. Weight maintenance are a bit of a con -- you are essentially paying more for less, a food which contains more grain, less meat and more fibre. Naturally, a combination of those things makes the dog produce more waste and therefore appear to loose more weight. In reality, the healthier way is to keep them on a good maintenance food but reduce the amount and up the exercise.My first priority is to get my dog healthy again. My plan is to maybe cut down on the amount of food my Lab eats and use green beans as a filler. I also plan to start walking him regularly/daily, starting off with about 1/2 hour or so and gradually increasing as he becomes able to keep up.
Switch to a better quality kibble...I don't really believe that those weight management foods really work. I'd cut back to 1 cup twice a day and add some fresh green beans to act as a filler. Then, try more than just walks. Swimming, retrieving, etc. Sessions don't need to be long, just enough to get his metabolism going! Swimming will really drop the weight, so I really recommend that. Cut out all treats except kibble.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
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If your happy with Iams stick with that but I suggest using just a normal formula and not a weight management. No sense in changing brands and possible creating more problems for yourself. Iams is just fine.
Cut back to 2 cups a day. You would be amazed at how much that half cup can make a difference. At 4-5 years old I noticed a huge metabolism change in my boy. We cut back about just that, a half cup. From about 3 down to 2.5 cups. That took off about 4 lbs off my boy. About all he needed.
Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate the food advice, I've not heard this before. I will definitely switch his food to a normal adult large breed food. Are there any recommendations for a new food?
Why not just switch to anothe Iams like Iams Chunks. Nothing wrong with the kibble you are feeding.
I personally feed ProPlan Chicken. Prior to that I fed Diamond Premium Adult. If you really feel you need to change brands I would recommend either one of those. I also would recommend Eukanuba, Eagle Pack, Wellness, Innova, Premium Edge, Professional, Royal Canin....and so on.
It is really up to you.
If you're happy with the brand you are using now- why change? I would find a different formula in the same brand. You can log onto www.dogfoodanalysis.com for an unbiased opinion of your current brand. That website helped me a great deal when deciding what to feed my almost 8 mo old girl.
Sorry to be the controversial one, but Iams, while not a bad food, is not a great food either. I agree that weight maintenance is a scam. Too many fillers. You're on the right track using green beans to try to fill them up. Remembering that a Lab can hold 4 DAYS worth of food in their tummys means you realize that you'll never success in making your dog feel full. The difference between 1.5 cups and 1 cup is irrelevant in the grander scheme of things.
Try for a food with more protein sources, less carbs... an economical choice is products by Diamond. I avoid all corn as an absolute rule, but I'm a food snob.
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul is a really good food. The increased amount you invest in better food will pay back in less trips to the vet.
I have successfully managed to get 12kgs or 22lbs+ off my rescue lab since Feb by feeding Royal Canin Obesity management and building up his exercise to include walking uphill every day twice a day- i have jsut taken on another fat lab and hope to achieve a similar result.
They are fed NOTHING absolutely NOTHING that their measured amount of food and plenty of fresh air!!