Dog Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have four dogs- a German Shepherd, two Chihuahuas, and a little terrier-like mix breed. All of our dogs are fairly slender and active except our long haired Chihuahua. He is about 6 lbs over weight (15 lbs where he should be about 9 lbs)

Toby, the long haired Chihuahua, is a friendly enough dog, but he's not very active. He's about 2 years old and started gaining weight right after we adopted him from an animal shelter (he was neutered while in the shelter). When we got him, he was about 9 months old, not underweight but definitely a tiny little Chihuahua. He has since ballooned!

I know it’s easy to say, “just feed him less” but it gets complicated with four dogs. First, we feed all four dogs twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evenings. We feed the little dogs in the kitchen and the Shepherd has an elevated feeding stand (we bought it hoping it’d keep Toby from eating his food and because he’s getting up there in age and we want him as comfortable as possible)

As far as exercise goes- the dogs go for regular walks and we’re working on building their overall stamina but since dogs can’t tell us they’ve had too much exercise, we’re leery of pushing Toby too hard while he’s so overweight.

I am looking for suggestions on how to feed him and our other pets so that they all get the nutrition they need and so that Toby can begin to safely lose weight, gain energy and eventually be a happy, healthy little dog. Things to keep in mind:

1) Toby will eat EVERYTHING including the shepherd’s food.
2) The shepherd will eat EVERYTHING- including Toby’s food- given five minutes alone with the small dog’s food, he would eat all of it.
3) The littlest Chihuahua will as soon go with out food as eat- this means that we are constantly trying to keep her at a healthy weight as well- not too thin.
4) Marble, the mixed breed, doesn’t care much about food but has higher nutritional requirements than her two little companions- because she is a higher energy dog.
5) Anywhere in the house that we could put the food so that Toby can’t reach it is either at German shepherd eye-level (mouth level) or in a part of the building we don’t want our littlest Chihuahua in (she’s incredibly destructive when left to her own devices.)

How can we feed all of our dogs at the same time and still make sure each one is getting just the right amount of food??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Feeding meals 2 x day as you do is a great start to making sure everyone gets what they need. I'm unclear about some things, though. They all get fed at the same time and I'm assuming each dog has his/her own bowl. Do you just drop the food and go or are you standing there to supervise to make sure Toby doesn't steal someone else's food? Do they all get the same brand of food? Is the shepherd in the kitchen, too, or in another room?

We have three dogs, one big and two small, and this is how I handle their feeding. They all get two meals a day as yours do. The big dog gets fed alone in the laundry room and the two little dogs get fed in the kitchen. Even though they're the same kind, Opal is bigger at 14 lbs. (but not overweight) and Jasper is about 7 lbs. Opal, like your Toby, will eat anything and everything! Jasper can be picky and doesn't always finish his food. If that's the case I simply put his bowl up on the counter until the next feeding otherwise Opal will just eat it. I always have to wait there until they're both done because if I turn my back for a second Opal will help herself to Jasper's food, even if he's still eating it.

Another factor could be the brand of food. Some dogs break down the ingredients differently. Maybe Toby would benefit from a low calorie food. My little dogs get grain free Taste of the Wild and Opal will put weight on quickly if I'm not consistent with her portion size. Jasper always stays thin even on such a rich food. They seem to have such different metabolisms where Jasper can have extra treats and not gain much, but I have to limit treats with Opal as she gains so easily. So it may be the same with your chi's as far as their metabolisms. Do you give treats or table scraps? Those will definitely contribute to weight gain. I know someone who gives her dog who's prone to weight gain green beans as treats. She said they fill her up without any extra calories.

Another thing that comes to mind is maybe have Toby's thyroid checked as an under active (or is it over active?) one can cause weight gain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
An underactive thyroid can cause weight gain in dogs. We've thought that Toby may have a thyroid condition, but when we took him to the vet, we were basically told to just feed him less.

As far as feeding time goes. Each dog has their own bowl. The small dogs are all fed the same small breed dog food and the shepherd is on a senior dog food. We have tried to watch them and make sure they eat only their food, but we ran into some problems

They don't actually eat as soon as we put the food down. They'll run around and take a few bites and run off. We did read somewhere that if we left it down for 20 minutes or so and took it up- whether they were finished eating or not - that eventually they'd realize they have to eat it while its there. We tried it for a week, but the dogs still didnt get the hint. They'd ignore the food, we'd pick it up, and they'd wander around all day acting like they were starving. I am terrified that we will end up starving them without realizing it.

It's hard to feed them in seperate rooms because if we put them in a room without us, they just cry and beg to be let out - they will completely ignore their food at this point.

And the truth of the matter is, not every one in the house is really that interested in helping them stay healthy. Toby isn't actually my dog- he belongs to my mother and step father. My step father is of the impression that all dogs need fed in the kitchen - dry dog food only - twice a day. He's not open to being patient while they eat or experimenting with methods that will cause them to eat only their appropriate amount.

I'll have a meeting with him and my mother tonight and explain once again that if they don't do something about Toby's health, I'll start taking him to the vet and investigating other methods of improving his health- and the cost will come out of their rent. It's not fair to Toby that they are lazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
They won't starve themselves. The best way is like you said: give them 20 mins, then take it away until the next feeding. They'll figure it out.
It's also best if you feed at least the chihuahua in a seperate area. We use the bathroom with one of our dogs, crates with others.
Cut down his food, but if you want you can give him unsweetened canned pumpkin or green beans. It helps fill them up, but doesn't add any calories. GREAT at helping dogs loose weight :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Feed the dogs Natural recipe dog food from pet smart and Just Because For Dogs Treats from the internet. You will see a change in her weight.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top