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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have some questions and most of them fit under health and some are related to helping him loose weight/keeping him fit so figured I'd make one post instead of several!

I moved in with my boyfriend about a year and a half ago, but because of the living situation I couldn't bring my Pitbull/American Bulldog, Hemi, with me so he had to stay with my mom. She has been taking great care of him, but unfortunately he's become slightly obese from where he mostly stays inside now. My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a house which means I'll be getting my bed buddy back and I'd like some advice on getting him back to a healthy weight and hopefully start muscling him up again.

I'm taking him to the vet in a week for a check up and probably getting a low carb food so my mom can start feeding him while the house is getting ready. Is there any food that I could buy from Tractor Supply or another store like that is low carb? I imagine the one I get from the vet is going to be a bit steep in price. Is low carb food what I want or do I want something else for weight loss?

My plan is getting him on the treadmill as there is about a foot plus of snow right now and below zero temperature. I'm thinking starting him out at a slow pace of 15mins of brisk walk/jog and work my way into a slow run once he is a little more fit for his winter exercise. How much exercise should a two year old fit dog be getting a day? I ask so I can keep up on exercising him once he's back to his normal weight. How much should I feed him a day once he's back down to good weight? I was feeding him about 1 1/2 cups of regular dog food with an egg twice a day, should I change that? He was going for a two mile run and half hour/hour of swimming at the time.

Since the house my boyfriend and I are buying has a couple of acres I'd like to build a little exercise/play pen for Hemi and was wondering what I should build to put in it? I'm already looking at agility jumps, a ramp climb thingy ( :rofl: don't know technical names), pulling (having a trainer help me with that!), and that's about it.

I'll be getting pictures of him tomorrow to track his weight loss if any of you want to watch his weight loss journey I'll be posting pictures once or twice a month.
 

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Do you have a stacked shot so we could see a baseline?

Personally, I don't see any reason to switch to a lower cal/carb/whatever food. You'd be much better off feeding less and exercising more. The egg is going to add a lot of extra fat though. Did you mean that you're feeding 2 eggs and 3 cups a day? I would honestly cut down to 1-2 eggs/week. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if he's been getting a lot of extra treats there.

If you have a space for it, a spring pole is a great way to get a lot of exercise in a short period of time, esp. in the winter. Just keep it low enough that the back legs can stay on the ground. If you haven't already, I would also throw together a flirt pole.
 

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If he is obese I would talk to my vet if he is just overweight I would cut back on the food and slowly increase exercise. Tractor supply has a lot of good brands I like 4health and all of my dogs do really well on it. Good luck and we need pictures.
 

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Low carb foods can actually make a difference in overweight dogs. Carbs can pack on the pounds since dogs don't utilize them well, and burn fat and protein way before carbs. Having less in the feed can help lose some of the weight.

Starting out with a few minutes on the treadmill is great. Just take it slow and work him up as he seems able to. Every dog is a bit different in what they can handle. I would also be interested in seeing a picture of him!

Also, I would encourage you not to set up agility equipment unless you have been or plan on working with a trainer. Dogs can easily injure themselves on agility equipment if they aren't trained properly.
 

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What food is he on now? How does he do on it? (Coat, bowel movements etc).
Yes, pictures are needed.

Changing the food may make a difference and in theory should but IMO not a tremendous amount. Usually cutting down on treats/table scraps puts a huge dent in the weight and then cutting down on the amount of actual food you are feeding while supplementing with lower kcalorie things such as baby carrots and green beans so that the dog feels a little fuller.
 

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Is there any food that I could buy from Tractor Supply or another store like that is low carb? You can get a weight management formula, and feed less of it than the bag recommends. A 50 lb dog that needs to lose weight should get about a cup twice a day, on average, but that may go up or down depending on your dog's needs. I recommend feeding 75% of the amount he has now (do a slow change to the new food) and then decrease it as needed. You don't want to lose more than a few pounds a month, and you don't want the poor guy crying for more food all the time. The main reason the vet one is so nice is because they get more fluff- feel fuller. You can also feed canned green beans with the food to fill him up. Is low carb food what I want or do I want something else for weight loss?

How much exercise should a two year old fit dog be getting a day? All depends on how much he needs to stay happy and a good weight :) Some dogs needs 5 hrs a day, others need 15 minutes to be happy. And if you feed more food, you need more exercise to maintain a normal weight. If you feed less food, need less exercise to maintain weight. How much should I feed him a day once he's back down to good weight? I was feeding him about 1 1/2 cups of regular dog food with an egg twice a day, should I change that? He was going for a two mile run and half hour/hour of swimming at the time. That amount seems high for a standard size pit/bulldog mix, but it may be ok if he has a more active lifestyle and higher metabolism.

Since the house my boyfriend and I are buying has a couple of acres I'd like to build a little exercise/play pen for Hemi and was wondering what I should build to put in it?

If you have a couple acres, I would recommend getting an invisible fence around your property- it is amazing for dogs in the country, and then they can follow you everywhere and not need to be under extremely strict supervision. Most dogs tolerate it really well and pick up the boundaries quickly.
 

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Edit to my above post- look at the calories of your current food, and find one with less calories. Calories are usually found doing a google search or on the brand's website, rarely are they on the bag.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you have a stacked shot so we could see a baseline?

Personally, I don't see any reason to switch to a lower cal/carb/whatever food. You'd be much better off feeding less and exercising more. The egg is going to add a lot of extra fat though. Did you mean that you're feeding 2 eggs and 3 cups a day? I would honestly cut down to 1-2 eggs/week. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if he's been getting a lot of extra treats there.

If you have a space for it, a spring pole is a great way to get a lot of exercise in a short period of time, esp. in the winter. Just keep it low enough that the back legs can stay on the ground. If you haven't already, I would also throw together a flirt pole.
No pictures until tomorrow, was too busy to get some tonight.

Maybe I didn't explain the greatest in my first post. I can't exercise him right now because he is staying at my moms, and my schedule lately hasn't allowed me to visit a whole lot. I have a new schedule now which is going to allow me to go over a little more so hopefully I can start exercising him again until I move into the new house. My mom is the type of person that just puts food in the dish whenever it is empty not really paying attention to how much he eats. I could ask her to feed less but I'm afraid I'd be wasting my breath because she wouldn't do it anyway. He is currently not getting any egg, and only eating his regular dog food. He is allergic to most human food so he doesn't get any table scraps, and my mom doesn't buy any dog treats. He was getting two eggs daily when he was getting a lot of exercise (two mile run, 30min-1hr swimming, and normal running around).

Thanks, I'll definitely add those to his pen this summer when it gets built!

If he is obese I would talk to my vet if he is just overweight I would cut back on the food and slowly increase exercise. Tractor supply has a lot of good brands I like 4health and all of my dogs do really well on it. Good luck and we need pictures.
Thanks, I'll look into that. He has allergy problems so I have to be careful with changing his diet but mostly its human food that bothers him. He's due for a check up so I'm taking him in just to get a professional opinion and see what he thinks of his overall condition besides being a bit of a porker. I think most of it is I kept him in good shape and now I look at him and he's so much bigger then normal.

Low carb foods can actually make a difference in overweight dogs. Carbs can pack on the pounds since dogs don't utilize them well, and burn fat and protein way before carbs. Having less in the feed can help lose some of the weight.

Starting out with a few minutes on the treadmill is great. Just take it slow and work him up as he seems able to. Every dog is a bit different in what they can handle. I would also be interested in seeing a picture of him!

Also, I would encourage you not to set up agility equipment unless you have been or plan on working with a trainer. Dogs can easily injure themselves on agility equipment if they aren't trained properly.
I don't know if I mentioned it or not in my first post, but I am planning on working with a trainer. I was probably thinking it and it didn't actually end up in the post. :eek:

What food is he on now? How does he do on it? (Coat, bowel movements etc).
Yes, pictures are needed.

Changing the food may make a difference and in theory should but IMO not a tremendous amount. Usually cutting down on treats/table scraps puts a huge dent in the weight and then cutting down on the amount of actual food you are feeding while supplementing with lower kcalorie things such as baby carrots and green beans so that the dog feels a little fuller.
He is on Pedigree, and has always been on Pedigree besides when he was a puppy and was on Purina. He has a nice coat never had dry skin issues and its always shiny especially when he was on the egg, and I've never had problems with his bowels.

Like mentioned in this post above he is allergic to most human food so I've just cut that out completely so I don't have to worry about it (if my mom gave him human food I'd know because I'd be taking him to the vet; never gave him food previously so doubt she is now), and my mom doesn't buy dog treats.

Most of his problem now is lack of exercise, and thankfully my new schedule is going to allow me to go over about four times a week to exercise him and what not until the new house is ready.

You can get a weight management formula, and feed less of it than the bag recommends. A 50 lb dog that needs to lose weight should get about a cup twice a day, on average, but that may go up or down depending on your dog's needs. I recommend feeding 75% of the amount he has now (do a slow change to the new food) and then decrease it as needed. You don't want to lose more than a few pounds a month, and you don't want the poor guy crying for more food all the time. The main reason the vet one is so nice is because they get more fluff- feel fuller. You can also feed canned green beans with the food to fill him up. All depends on how much he needs to stay happy and a good weight :) Some dogs needs 5 hrs a day, others need 15 minutes to be happy. And if you feed more food, you need more exercise to maintain a normal weight. If you feed less food, need less exercise to maintain weight. That amount seems high for a standard size pit/bulldog mix, but it may be ok if he has a more active lifestyle and higher metabolism. If you have a couple acres, I would recommend getting an invisible fence around your property- it is amazing for dogs in the country, and then they can follow you everywhere and not need to be under extremely strict supervision. Most dogs tolerate it really well and pick up the boundaries quickly. look at the calories of your current food, and find one with less calories. Calories are usually found doing a google search or on the brand's website, rarely are they on the bag.
Thanks for answering most of my questions. As for the fence I think I'm going to stick with a real fence just for peace of mind. My Aunt has the invisible fence and she really has to keep up on changing the batteries and making sure its working. If the batteries start losing power she knew it because one of her dogs always ran off the second the batteries got low.

That was one of my other questions! I knew I was forgetting one. Lol.
 

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I actually just switched from Pedigree to Kirkland and although Koda did fine on the pedigree I noticed she needed less of the kirkland (making it cheaper). I also noticed differences in how she grew and a few other things which were beneficial.

I would actually guess switching to a better food and feeding less would be better. Just for a healthier dog in general. If she's just refilling when it's empty that should you your biggest clue-he's not eating 3 cups a day, he's probably eating more like 5-6 cups.

Exercise is important, even when you don't have the time!! Maybe find a dog-walker if you're busy certain days? I think this is the main thing to focus on-get your schedule and work him in. He needs to be back on more exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I actually just switched from Pedigree to Kirkland and although Koda did fine on the pedigree I noticed she needed less of the kirkland (making it cheaper). I also noticed differences in how she grew and a few other things which were beneficial.

I would actually guess switching to a better food and feeding less would be better. Just for a healthier dog in general. If she's just refilling when it's empty that should you your biggest clue-he's not eating 3 cups a day, he's probably eating more like 5-6 cups.

Exercise is important, even when you don't have the time!! Maybe find a dog-walker if you're busy certain days? I think this is the main thing to focus on-get your schedule and work him in. He needs to be back on more exercise.
I know he's not eating three cups a day, that's how much I was feeding him when I was living there. Luckily he has a small dish (holds the 1 1/2 cups that I used to feed him and that makes it pretty full) and she feeds him about three times a day is what she told me so he's not getting a whole lot more then what he was getting its just that mixed with not getting exercise.

I know exercise is important which is why I can't wait to move into my new house so he can get back to his old self. I love my dog but after working and school all day I still have to do other things and with him not living with me its hard because I have to drive to my moms. Now I have it so I have school two times a week without working them days and get out earlier at work. So I plan on going over Monday to Friday to exercise him.
 

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Sounds like he is getting way too much food.

Figure out what he is being fed now, and cut it down by 25%.
Measure his food out in the morning, put it in a ziplock bag, and make it a house rule that is all he gets for the day. Take charge! ;)
 

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I would definitely switch to a higher quality food- pedigree is full of corn which is really a "bulk" ingredient. It not only bulks up the food, but bulks up the animal who is eating it. Even if you don't want to go entirely grain-free, finding a corn-free food is a pretty solid step in starting a weight loss program. More than likely, any food you choose, your dog will need less than you think.

Also, on the treadmill front- walking on a treadmill is much harder for a dog than you would expect. Because of the way they travel, which is not actually in a straight line, it is really hard for them to balance on a treadmill. You probably want to start out with like 3 minutes and lower your expectations of that being a major form of exercise for at least a few months. It takes dogs quite a while to build up the stabilizer muscles to keep them balanced.
 

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I would advise NOT changing his food concurrently with moving... either change it well BEFORE he leaves your mom's place or well AFTER moving to the new house if you're inclined to change it. Too many changes at once aren't the best for his little system!
 

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Sounds like he is getting way too much food.

Figure out what he is being fed now, and cut it down by 25%.
Measure his food out in the morning, put it in a ziplock bag, and make it a house rule that is all he gets for the day. Take charge! ;)
Kind of hard to take charge when you're not there to enforce it. ;)

I would definitely switch to a higher quality food- pedigree is full of corn which is really a "bulk" ingredient. It not only bulks up the food, but bulks up the animal who is eating it. Even if you don't want to go entirely grain-free, finding a corn-free food is a pretty solid step in starting a weight loss program. More than likely, any food you choose, your dog will need less than you think.

Also, on the treadmill front- walking on a treadmill is much harder for a dog than you would expect. Because of the way they travel, which is not actually in a straight line, it is really hard for them to balance on a treadmill. You probably want to start out with like 3 minutes and lower your expectations of that being a major form of exercise for at least a few months. It takes dogs quite a while to build up the stabilizer muscles to keep them balanced.
Ok, I'll start looking for corn-free foods and start him on that. Thanks!

I would advise NOT changing his food concurrently with moving... either change it well BEFORE he leaves your mom's place or well AFTER moving to the new house if you're inclined to change it. Too many changes at once aren't the best for his little system!
I'm changing his food now, and probably won't be moving for at least a month considering we're still making arrangements to purchase it and get everything ready to move in because it has already been winterized. That is why I wanted to start him on the new food so he could start losing weight while I'm only able to go over at most four times a week to exercise him.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you couldn't tell from the pictures he thought I was mad at him because I had just got there and wouldn't let him give me kisses or say hi. :rofl: Poor pup pup. Wish I had pictures of him before to share!

As you can see he is pretty sausage like right now.

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Haha, the title of this thread made me laugh! :p
He doesn't look in terrible shape, I've seen dogs so overweight that they wobble. It sounds like you're getting some great advice though! He's super cute!
 

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Oh, but he is starting to wobble... and the fact he has no waist is a little bothersome. :lmao: He's about 30lbs heavier then what he was, and yeah that's why I came here; very informative.
 

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Opinions on Canidae Platinum? I was talking to someone today and they said they had good luck with it with a Lab they adopted and couldn't exercise as much as they would've liked. Probably going with the 4Health just have to wait for my Tractor Supply to get some big bags because they were all out when I went today besides the small bags and cat food. :(
 

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He's definitely overweight. Does your Mom actually measure his food with an accurate measuring cup? People often guesstimate how much they feed and when they measure it, find they're not guessing very well. Just a thought.

Losing weight for a dog is the same as for humans. Burn more calories than are eaten.
 
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