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Getting and keeping your sheltie at a healthy weight

Discussion in 'General Health' started by Sheltie.Mama, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Sheltie.Mama

    Sheltie.Mama Forums Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2013
    I have problems with overweight shelties.. I guess how can I get them to lose weight and STAY at a healthy weight?
  2. Mignarda

    Mignarda Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 17, 2013
    Dover, Delaware
    I'd say cut the dog food in half and replace it with lean meats. Give them no extra sugars or starches. Then ensure that they're getting exercise.
  3. tofu pup

    tofu pup Moderator

    Aug 28, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Feed them less, and make sure that they don't have any "outside sources" for snacks. Remember, YOU control all the food... the dogs can't open the refrigerator!

    Also, make sure you're using a consistent measure for their food, and don't free-feed. You might already be doing this, but just in case... I use an actual half-cup measure for my dog. When she first arrived, I started her at 1/2 cup 2x/day. She got a little thin, so I upped it to 3/4 cup 2x/day. I know EXACTLY how much food she gets, and exactly how much she's eating, because I know exactly how much I put down, and all of the food goes into the dog.
  4. melbell

    melbell Forums Enthusiast

    Feb 4, 2013
    Erie, Pennyslvania
    Very much this. My Honey wasn't over weight, but because of her not doing Agility every week once she moved to NC with me PLUS treats = one over weight sheltie. Her heaviest was actually not that long ago when we went to the vets for her rabies shot. I think it was October? She weighed 31 lbs... that's the same healthy weight as my 13 month 18.5" sheltie. She should be at 23 lbs. We cut her from 2/3rds twice a day down to 1/3rd twice a day. We also completely stopped giving her treats. She didn't need them anyways. We now also take her on at least 3 long walks a week. I say long, because we potty on leash so she always gets walked, but not very long (like 3-10 minutes per potty walk). Measuring cups will be your best friend when learning the proper food to feed them. Btw- she's down to 24 pounds :yes: and you can feel her ribs properly again. She'll be starting back in Agility come April so hopefully that will work off her last bit. Also a hint, instead of using treats for training, just use their dog food. Dogs still love it and learn that they're doing what you want, it's just that way they don't get over fed and it's cheaper :cool:
  5. Sheltie.Mama

    Sheltie.Mama Forums Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2013
    Lol, don't tell the shelties!:wink2:
  6. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 2, 2013
    Central California
    Melody and I are the wrong ones to ask! LOL.

    Within reason, you can't overfeed a growing puppy. She needs a lot of extra calories to grow and play. Within reason, that is.

    As to the others, if you can't feel the ribs, cut the food to 3/4 what you are feeding for a month. If you still aren't there, then cut it again to abot 3/4 of what you are feedig. When they get to where you think they should be, stay at that amount. If they seem a little too thin, add back a little. Once you find their amount, stick with it. If you change foods, you have to go through the process again of finding the pefect amount

    Limit treats!
  7. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    Maintaining your dog's weight (provided they are healthy w/no underlying issues) is a matter of calories in versus calories out. Decrease their food and increase their exercise.

    Owners get into trouble when they start humanizing their dogs (I'm not being judgmental, as I'm guilty at times). "The dog looks sad", or "she's used to more food and is starving!" or "she doesn't understand why she's on a diet".

    You have to move past those feelings and be firm--while the dog might "look sad" or "seem hungry", it's better for them to be at a healthy weight. If you really feel that guilt you can supplement with low calories treats (carrots, green beans), but even then you have to go back to calories in v. calories out.
  8. Tagg

    Tagg Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 4, 2012
    Brantford, On
    May I add to this, when using training treats make sure they are healthy treats. That way you can decrease the amount at the next meal. I also feed according to the dog in question. I don't just randomly decrease, I look for less caloric value in the food so that they still get the vitamins and minerals they require. A veterinary nutritionist told me that when you just drop the amount of food you are asking for all kinds of issues - most easily seen is thin or pitted enamel on the teeth.
  9. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Southern California
    You absolutely have to measure their food. I use measuring cups also. And of course, feed a very good quality food. Brooke was a very overweight 28 pounds on 16 inches, she is now down to 22.5 and feels great - tons of energy, beautiful shiny coat. She used to huff and puff on our walks when she first came, now she is running circles around everyone.

    She gets a heaping 1/2 cup of Wellness twice a day, a "flat" 1/2 cup was not enough, she really burns it off much more than Asta who is 2 inches bigger. Also I think the Wellness had less calories per serving than what we fed before.

    We use carrots, apple pieces, broccoli, red pepper pieces as treats.

    And at least a 2 mile walk a day, sometimes two for Brooke.

    All our dogs have always been thin, much to my vet's appreciation!!! :winkgrin:
  10. ClantyreSheltie

    ClantyreSheltie Forums Sage

    Feb 24, 2010
    Stay away from "low fat" or "diet" dog foods. The "low fat" thing is for humans, not for dogs. Foods should have good quality meat sources, and as few plant/carb/starch sources as possible. The best shape my dogs have ever been in is when they were fed prey model raw. Little is wasted, and they utilize everything.

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