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  #1  
Old 03-04-2010, 01:44 AM
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Default Fat chihuahuas!

For the past several weeks it seems like all I've been seeing is overweight chihuahuas! At the Vet, Petsmart, Pet Supermarket, on a walk....I keep seeing chis, and everyone of them is a little bit or a LOT heavy! When I was at the Vet, a husband and wife came in carrying three chis between the two of them, and they were HUGE, as in fat, Fat, FAT! It was really very sad. Two had serious hip/joint problems, and one had liver and heart issues, and none of them were over 5 years old! Their owners obviously loved these babies to death.......and that's what they were in fact doing, loving them into an early grave by seriously overfeeding them and not managing their weights. It was really heartbreaking to know that these little dogs could have had a dramatically improved quality of life with some simple dietary changes, combined with their owners exhibiting more personal discipline and being less indulgent with their dogs.

It is in NO dog's best interests to be overweight, be they large or small. It's far healthier for a dog to be slightly underweight than slightly overweight, and the smaller the dog, the less additional weight is needed for problems to occur. As far as mine are concerned, if Tango gains even a couple extra ounces (as he did when he was stealing Jazz's puppy food) it's noticeable to me...he has less of a waist, more fat covering his ribs making it harder to feel them, a crease around his neck that is lacking when he's at his ideal weight. Jazz is still growing, but even so, I'm careful with her intake. She's lean without being skinny. I doubt she'll get any taller or longer at this point, though she will certainly fill out more as she reaches maturity. It's just not that hard to keep our dogs weight in check, and it's so much better for their health. Chances are they will live longer, and have a far better quality of life well into old age.

Here's something my Vet sent out in her monthly newsletter along this line:

Sometimes it is not the amount of food that is given to your dog but the amount of treats they receive, that puts weight on. Obesity is a problem that many vets see on a daily basis. If you can't see or feel your pet's ribs or if there is no visible waist line when you look straight down than the chance of your pet becoming obese is a strong probability. Sometimes cutting out the treats can reduce your pet's weight. Exercise is another factor in helping your pet lose those extra pounds. Implementing exercise into your daily schedule is healthy for you and your pet. Check the calories in your pet food and make sure they are per serving. Guidelines on many food bags tend toward recommending more food than you dog needs. Start by feeding on the low end of the feeding scale. Running freely in the back yard does not necessarily provide your pet with their needed daily exercise. Walking and inter-active playing is the best source of exercise.

I could do more to exercise my dogs, I'll admit it. I need to start walking with them more, or doing some other form of exercise with them when it's too cold to take and keep them outside for long periods. I play with them every day, even if it's only play periods in the hall where they're chasing balls and toys back and forth, playing tug with me and each other, "dancing" with me when I put music on and they go crazy.

My daughter was a Vet Tech for years, and she has some of THE most heartbreaking stories to tell concerning dogs who'd been allowed to become very overweight, and the suffering and pain and discomfort they went through as a result.

I vow, here and now, that I will NEVER allow that to happen with my dogs. I may pamper them more than some, I'll admit, but I will NEVER fall into the trap of over-feeding them and destroying their health.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2010, 02:30 AM
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You know.....I totally understand why most dogs get fat, but I have to tell you my Willow is a chub, but eats the same exact amount that Ivy and Fern eat, 1/4 cup for the whole day, actually a smidge less even. She NEVER EVER gets ANY treats. I totally do not believe in ever scrap feeding or giving the dogs snacks of any kind. When they do get praised for something good, they get a teeny peice of their ziwipeak, and I mean teenie, maybe the size of a pencil eraser if not smaller. Willow even gets more exercise, but no matter what she just doesn't have the metabolism that Ivy and Fern has. She has been a little chub ever since she was little, and got even worse with her spay, which is very commom in many female animals because of the loss of hormones. I wonder how a dog can loose weight when they are eating very little as it is, without starving them. I can understand if all my dogs were fat, but unfortunatly only Willow has this problem. If they all were fat I would agree that obviously there is some feeding and excercise issues, but what more can I do, poor thing thinks shes starving as it is lol!! Curious if others have the same problem as Willow!!

Lori
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:40 AM
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Well, I wonder if it has to do with differing metabolisms, you know, just like with humans, where two people will eat the same, and one will gain and one won't? Or an age thing? As I understand it, as dogs age, their metabolisms change, much the same way humans do. How old is Willow? Is she older than Ivy and Fern?

Have you tried feeding her less than her sisters and seeing if that makes any difference in her weight?

The other thing is that I've certainly seen differences in body types, the chi standard notwithstanding. Some chis are stockier, some are leaner, some are very fragile looking, whereas some are just sturdier. It has little to do with being overweight but a lot to do with a different skeletal structure and body type. Tango's a bit stocky whereas I have a friend whose chihuahua is more fragile in appearance, almost wispy looking. She's bigger than Tango (a little longer and taller) but weighs less. She's at her ideal weight, and so is Tango. They're just different body types. I don't think either bear much resemblance to the Chi standard lol!
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:04 AM
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I think Willow must just be a stocky girl! Can you feel her ribs?
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:13 AM
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Yeah, looking at Willow's pic, she looks more stocky then your other two. In my two, Reggie is more cobby, short legs and stocky, while Gonzo is tall, leggy and thinly built. They are just different body types, nothing to do with weight issues. Feeding less will not make her look thinner, just make her hungrier. lol

When I took Reggie in for his vet visit, I saw two very overweight chis, too. They just looked so uncomfortable.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:27 AM
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To be honest it can be easy to let things slip giving out too many treats. And sometimes because we see them every day we don't notice it. My ben got big so I had to really make an effort to slim him down. Now I am very careful with Lola as she loves her food.

You are right it's definately not good to be overweight
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivy's mom View Post
You know.....I totally understand why most dogs get fat, but I have to tell you my Willow is a chub, but eats the same exact amount that Ivy and Fern eat, 1/4 cup for the whole day, actually a smidge less even. She NEVER EVER gets ANY treats. I totally do not believe in ever scrap feeding or giving the dogs snacks of any kind. When they do get praised for something good, they get a teeny peice of their ziwipeak, and I mean teenie, maybe the size of a pencil eraser if not smaller. Willow even gets more exercise, but no matter what she just doesn't have the metabolism that Ivy and Fern has. She has been a little chub ever since she was little, and got even worse with her spay, which is very commom in many female animals because of the loss of hormones. I wonder how a dog can loose weight when they are eating very little as it is, without starving them. I can understand if all my dogs were fat, but unfortunatly only Willow has this problem. If they all were fat I would agree that obviously there is some feeding and excercise issues, but what more can I do, poor thing thinks shes starving as it is lol!! Curious if others have the same problem as Willow!!

Lori

That's how my zoey is! All my onther chis are perfect, then zoeys overweight! I don't overfeed as they used to get all the same but I reduced zoeys as I could see she was overweight. So she now gets less but still isn't losing any weight .
I know she gets enough exercise too - she gets an hour to and hour and a half walk each day and 20 minutes of it is on lead walking and the rest is off lead running.
I think she has a thyroid problem so she's going to the vets in a few weeks time
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:32 AM
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I've got one of those too like Willow & Zoey! At one point I fed all my pups the same amount of food & Milo shot up to 10.5lbs. His ideal is 9lbs per the vet. I've got to say that that I had no idea he was gaining so much weight! (apparently big duh on my part) He didn't look over weight to me...he was eating the same amount of food as everyone else (1/4c a day). Where I saw him every day I just couldn't tell he'd put on any weight. Anyway...that was over a year ago that it was brought to my attention. I've since cut out his snacks & lowered his food intake. Since he's been between 10.4-10.8lbs. I couldn't for the life of me get that boy to loose weight! During the summer we are out walking much more so that helps his weight go down in the summer...but winters are hard here.

I will say since starting raw last week I've been monitoring their weights. ALL of my pups seemed to have lost a few oz & it didn't really matter so much for any of them (Maxie & Mari were quite solid - not necessarily over weight). Marley however, being as he's still growing (25 weeks) started to look too boney to me. I also worried a bit about Matilda because she's thin anyway & she has a super high metabolism but I couldn't tell a difference on her. You can't see her ribs or anything & while she is getting a bit more food than the other 3 older dogs..she's not loosing anymore so I think we're ok.

Marley on the other hand I'm having a hard time getting him to put weight back on! He was at 5lbs 7oz when we started & dropped down 5lbs 2oz in just a few days & that was with me increasing his food intake dramatically each day. Anyway, he is back up to 5lbs 4oz but we're at giving him like 8oz a food a day with not a whole lot of gain. And my other pups are getting around 2-4oz a day. He was eating the same amount of kibble as the rest (except Milo of course).

Anyway, I didn't meant to go on about that. Just goes to show how different their metabolisms can be & how hard it can be to get them to gain/loss weight... I am happy to report that since starting raw Milo is down to 10lbs & holding steady according to my bathroom scale as he's the only one too large for my kitchen one. So I'm hoping that with his intake now he's slowly lossing & it will show up on the scales as it comes off. And I'm sure with the warmer months ahead the exercise will help too. But this is the lightest he's been for over a year...

I do understand your general point & I know a lot of people over do the treats & over feeding but sometimes it's not easy to keep that weight off of them. I mean...I was feeling pretty guilty for feeding Milo 1/5c food a day. That really isn't a whole lot if you kwim.... Especially since Milo is constantly looking for food & acts like he's starving (which obviously he's not) but still. LOL
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