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Discussion Starter #1
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. :D

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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There are metabolic disorders that can affect chis. A breeder I know had a puppy that she bought from a very reputable show breeder. She noticed this pup putting on weight very fast--she was not just cobby she was stocky. After loads of tests it was discovered that she had some sort of disorder, her thyroid fuction was off and something else. She ended up keeping her as a pet and has givin her treatment. I have met her and she is pudgy looking. she has a happy life. It is so onvous in a pack of chi perfection this breeder has this one. She is loved and happy and as haealthy as she can be. responsibly pet owners can still have overweight pets.

On the other hand--there are way too many-I will agree with Tink that just become a health hazard for no medical reason. It is like with people it becomes a life style--a dangerous one.
 

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Considering most Chi's need between 300-400cals a day its easy to see how you can over feed them.
I was also guilty of this with Adam last summer.:(According to charts though he seemed ok coz he puts weight on around his ribcage. If you looked down he had a very distinct waist, also looked like he was wearing a furry bodywarmer!! I have slimmed him down now and find that he needs a ridiculously small amount of food to thrive. He gets almost half as mch as Heidi and Hannah and even then they usually finish his dinner off for him.:rolleyes:
Generally we do 2 walks of about 2hrs total a day (with one rest day a week) and treats are low fat chews only. Im very obese and refuse to do that to my dogs too.:(

There is a Chi down the road from me that I have only seen in the owners arms. It looks like a small tan football and barks continously. Not what a Chi should be..:foxes15:
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
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
Just so we're clear, I TOTALLY understand the issue you have with Milo, and the one Ivy's Mom has with Willow, etc. I completely get how that happens....it happened with Tango! Certainly *I* can't throw stones, and didn't intend to anyway. :D

I don't think there's anyone one this forum who isn't conscious of their chis weight, who doesn't understand the danger of having an obese dog. If we all weren't trying to be responsible chi owners, we wouldn't be doing things like joining a chihuahua forum and asking questions and sharing knowledge! I'm not trying to make anyone here feel guilty or cause them to get defensive. I'm just ranting about the rank irresponsibility of some dog owners......my ex-husband being one of them, for example.

When we divorced we had the most adorable little pomeranian, Misha, who, though she had been given to ME at 10 weeks, had ultimately chosen my ex as her human. So of course I left Misha with him, as it would have broken both their hearts if I hadn't. She was slightly overweight when we divorced, due to my ex feeding her bits of his food in spite of EVERYTHING I told him, and tried to do, to stop that practice. She was also not spayed, because he absolutely forbade it, regardless of all the information he was presented with concerning the dangers of leaving her intact.

Misha ballooned in weight once I wasn't around. She got HUGE! I mean, she was a tiny little 5 lb thing at her ideal weight, and though I never found out her ultimate weight, she, LITERALLY, looked like a balloon with fur, and legs, head and tail. She could hardly walk. Her skin felt like it was about to burst when I touched her. As a comparison, I can move Tango and Jazz's skin around on their bodies, slide it over their bones etc. Couldn't do that with Misha, couldn't get her skin to move over her bones at ALL it was stretched so tight over all that fat. She had to be lifted on and off the couch because she was too heavy to jump up.

There is no happy ending to this story. :( At age 5 Misha passed away, due to her heart and liver compromised from the weight making it impossible for her to fight the complications and infection from a pyometra. Had she not been obese, she probably would have made it. With the gross overweight, she didn't stand a chance. :( I'm still battling my OWN guilt at not having tried to do more to get my ex to be more responsible, and/or leaving Misha with him to begin with.

THAT'S the kind of irresponsibility I'm talking about. That's the kind of story that both angers me, and rips my heart out, because that outcome with Misha was ENTIRELY preventable. It's part of the reason why I am anal concerning my dogs weight. I try to keep a decent balance and a good perspective about it, but if I have to err, I'll err on the side of being more cautious rather than less so.

Sorry if I'm making anyone feel defensive or guilty. That wasn't my intent.
 

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Tink..no appologies needed here. Overweight dogs have health problems. Many times it is a healthy dog which becomes over weight because of what it owners are doing--or not doing--it is sad because these problems could avoided with some better judgement call by the owners.

My small dog here would ask for food all day if he though he'd get any..sometimes he is hungry and needs more food..sometimes he just wants to see what it might get for him. He does really well on the eating plan we have going. I can totally see how easily he could put on weight. His body is not made to carry extra weight..
 

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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!
Oh yeah...Willow is total Cobby, but still a chubby cobby lol!!! She is 2, the same age as Ivy, just a few months younger. But poor girl just could look at food and probably gain weight. Yeah....The doc wants her to loose 3 lbs. You know 1 lb on a dog is like 30 on a human. so she needs to loose 90 human pounds yikes!!!! We have a big backyard with a sidewalk going around the perimeter of the whole yard, so we walk her out there which is nice because they are safe. Looks like she's gong to neeed more laps around the yard lol!!!

Lori
 

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Oh no problem - I didn't take it a negative way. :) I totally understand what you're saying & agree. I just had to add that in about different metabolisms & such. Had it not been for Milo & knowing what goes into his mouth I'd wouldn't think it be possible for a dog eat so little & not loose weight. LOL

I'm sorry about Misha....how sad. I can understand why overweight dogs would bother you so much having been through that. What a powerless feeling that must have been. :( Spoiling a dog is one thing...but to do it with food iit's so detrimental.
 

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I only just skimmed over answers so I hope I don't repeat a lot. :) My Buford is a chubby cobby. :) None of my others are overweight. In fact Ernie tends to be a bit on the slim side, but the vet has assured me that he is healthy as healthy can be. Bu needs more exercise to be sure and when the weather gets a little better, I will start walking him. They get 0 to very few treats. And we prefer carrot, green beans and cheerios as their treats. So do they.

I really think dogs, like people, are just different. I don't anticipate that Bu will ever be real thin, even with daily walks. But he and I will both be healthier. :)
 

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Pedro, my little one, is about a pound or so overweight......not much really. Max is a mix with possibly corgi in him, so he's much bigger than the average chi; but he is overweight AND he is on a diet. He has lost quite a bit, but he has a very slow metabolism. He's almost 16 years old, though, and in pretty good health. The pic below here is an older one of him, so he is a bit leaner now. Sometimes we can't get them to be real thin, but as long as they are healthy.....that's what matters!:D
 

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I just read the first few posts so....
My situation is similar as Ivy's mom. My girls get the same amount of food, no treats and little to none scrap feeding; yet, Butter is about 3.5 pounds and Britney's last vet visit ranked her in at 5.5 which is too chubby considering she has tiny little legs.
 

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my mother does that to justice. she's 8lbs and should be 4lbs . i made jasper lose weight so he's come down a few pounds. but he likes to run and play so he loses his quicky with cutting back , he's lost 2 lbs from 7lbs , also should be 4lbs
 
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