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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, Turbo is getting bigger than we would like to.

We have him on Eukanuba diet food, and I continue to read about it's poor quality. I tried switching foods once and he didn't like it and refused to eat it. (I mixed it with the other food and he just ate around it!)

We don't want his health to be a concern, and he needs to lose weight. We no longer feed him people food. (Havn't for 2 months now and it was never a lot, just a bit here and there).

He wieghs close to 9 pounds. The vet told us to feed him 3/4 a cup per day.

Should we reduce that down? Maybe we should switch foods? Can someone make a reccomendation? We want our pup to be healthy.

We also debated getting another Chi, maybe having two around would make him more active?
 

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Hi,
People can argue over good vs bad food, and there certainly are good arguments to made - however, just as it is with humans, the process of weight loss is basic. You have to burn more calories than you consume in a given day. Over the course of days, weeks, months, the weight drops off.
It should be a gradual process !

Stopping the human food was a good first step ( for weight loss).
The next major step would be to work with your vet to determine exactly
how many CALORIES a day will allow your pet to safely lose weight.

The problem with '3/4th a cup' etc, is that it's just a guess and doesn't apply to two different dogs. One will thrive, and one will get fat on the same amount. This is true more so for overweight dogs more than 'normal weight' dogs.

My vet worked with me to determine how many calories a day would lead to safe weight loss. After a week or a month of that amount, you can and will usually tweak the amount.

For a small dog (yes 9 pounds is a small dog) to lose, say two pounds is a HUGE amount of weight. That's 1/5th of his body weight, equal to a 200 pound man losing 40 pounds.

You would not want to lose 40 pounds over the course of a month.
You'd be horribly weak and likely to put on the weight as soon as you stopped
the diet. The same is true for the dog. He'll need to lose a tiny amount per week so he can stay healthy and adjust to his new size.

Exercise is also going to help. Walk him as much as you can.

You vet should be more than willing to help. There is some math involved in
figuring out calories per serving, but I'd be happy to help with that if you need. You can send me a pm.

Once he loses the weight, it's a matter of feeding him the proper amount of food for the rest of his life ( and getting exercise too of course).

There is of course a big difference between eating 'to diet' and eating to
maintain your health and condition. Feeding the best food you can afford
is the best option, but that alone isn't the key to weight loss.

One other thing. Is he overweight because you vet believes so, or do
you yourself believe that 9 pounds is too much weight for a Chi ?
There are many perfectly healthy Chihuahuas who weight considerably more.
They just don't fit the dog show type standard weight. Larger Chi's would be very unheathy if forced to lose more weight than necessary.

Just be sure that losing weight is the right thing for your particular dog.
Good luck !
 

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^^^^ Absolutely what he said!

Just as a frame of reference for you, both my dogs are just under 4 lbs each, so they weigh a bit less than 1/2 as much as your dog. They each get a TOTAL of 1/4 cup of food every day, 1/8 cup in the a.m. and 1/8 in the p.m. Tango gets slightly less than Jazz. I use a coffee scoop, and Jazz gets a slightly more than level scoop, whereas Tango gets a slightly less than level scoop......and if I tried to make it more precise than that, I'd have to start counting the kibble pieces lol! Jazz is more hyper than Tango, so she tends to burn more calories. Tango's thicker than Jazz, a more solid build, and it's easier for him to get a little chunky. And like Jazzman pointed out, these dogs are so little (even the larger chis) that a few ounces difference in Tango's weight means that he's either at his ideal weight, or starting to get a little heavier than I want. And you can SEE it on him, too.

I do want to stress the quality of the food you're feeding. Both mine are on a high quality grain free kibble and whether or not you choose to go grain free, still I urge you to switch from Eukanuba to the highest quality food that you can afford. It will help the weight loss. You'll have to feed less because your dog will process so much more of what he's eating with far less waste.

And he will eventually eat, too, even if he turns up his nose at the food initially. Unless they are ill, dogs will NOT starve themselves. They will eventually get hungry enough to eat. If you start trying to tempt them with different kinds of food, you'll just make picky eaters out of them.

Good luck! Oh, and it might help you to keep a pictorial record of the loss. Take pics of your dog from the side, and from above, and over time you'll begin to see the changes in his shape. It's very heartening to see those before and after pics!
 

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Here is what my Vet told me when I first put Tabitha on a diet.
151 calories daily are needed for a 6 lb dog. 165 for a 7 lb dog…

1/4 cup can vary quite a bit day by day. So, I use a small kitchen
scale and measure my dog's meals. During the early stages with
Tabitha, I added some defrosted frozen green beans just to help
her feel full. Over time, she has lost from 7 lbs 2.5 ounces down
to 5 lbs 8 ounces :) I weighed her weekly at the Vet and after
4 months she achieved a healthy weight. I asked my Vet to check
her size and confirm she is at a healthy weight; but, I knew because
I could feel (but not see) her ribs again.

Yes, having a playmate helps to maintain their weight, if they get
more active. Good luck Turbo!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
First, thank you all for your advice. Sometimes I get nervous about Turbo because he is such an important member of our family, and I want to keep him healthy so he has a long life.

I wanted to give an update, we took Turbo back to the vet. He only gained 3oz's this time, which has been the best so far. We did end up changing Turbo's food to Origin Red as I heard great things about it. He also LOVES it.

The Vet said to reduce his food to 1/8 cup twice a day (1/4 per day total) and check him in a month. We havn't been feeding him people food but we did realize something. We often gave Turbo 6inch bully sticks. I was NOT aware that these could contain 20 calories per inch! Turbo is only supposed to have around 260 calories per day. He was eating probably 2 Bully sticks a week. Could this contribute to his weight gain? We know he needs to exersize more but can't get him on the leash yet, and with winter coming he will be a lazy pup!

The Vet said Turbo should be in the 7-8lb range for him to be at his ideal weight.

1/4 cup for the whole day doesn't seem like much food for him, but the food is higher quality with no fillers. I just want to make sure he's healthy. Is there anything we can give him so he feels more full but doesn't add calories? We are also stopping the Bully sticks for the months.

Thanks again everyone, we love this forum!
 

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Maybe you could use Himalayan chews instead of bully sticks? They are a very hard cheese chew that takes a LONG time to wear down. They have to gnaw on for a long time to soften the end and pull tiny pieces off.

Since he isn't going on walks, could you take him to the dog park? He would be able to run off leash and get more exercise.

Also, you can add some water to his food to fill up his belly w/o adding calories. I do this with my dogs and it works well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe you could use Himalayan chews instead of bully sticks? They are a very hard cheese chew that takes a LONG time to wear down. They have to gnaw on for a long time to soften the end and pull tiny pieces off.

Since he isn't going on walks, could you take him to the dog park? He would be able to run off leash and get more exercise.

Also, you can add some water to his food to fill up his belly w/o adding calories. I do this with my dogs and it works well.
Well, he would run off leash, not sure how far he we go though! We do have him run around in our fenced in backyard but he gets tired after 10-15 minutes.

Just put water in his food bowl?
 
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