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Hello,

My three year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is about 5 pounds overweight, which is a lot for a dog that small. She eats about 1 cup of dry food a day with about a tbsp of low fat cottage cheese. The food is a weight management formula by merrick. It wasn’t my idea, but we started the habit of giving her treats after going outside to potty. She was extremely difficult to housetrain, and this did seem to help because she is so food motivated. I try to stick to low calorie training treats. We also try to get her to walk more, but a lot of times she doesn’t want to go. We pretty much have to drag her the whole way. The vet said her heart is fine. I was worried because she acts so tired all the time. Anyway, any ideas on how I can get this girl to lose some weight?
 

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Go on short walks a few times a day and build up her stamina and she'll eventually be able to go on longer walks. Use a flirt pole with a favorite toy. Or if she likes water, and you have a yard, turn on the hose and let her chase the water to get exercise. Put her food in a treat dispenser that she has to push around on the floor, She'll have to get up and move to get her food.
 

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Only one way, same as for humans, fewer calories in and more exercise. Remove the cottage cheese, stop the treats, reward with affection or play. If she won't walk, try playing games like fetch, swimming, anything to get her to exercise.
 

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I think 1 cup of food is likely too much for the weight she should be, and her current activity level, remember the bag nearly always says to feed a dog more then it actually needs. I'd cut it back to 3/4 cup, and scale back the cottage cheese to 1 level teaspoon. Look for 1 to 3 calorie treats and do not give her more then 20 cal of treats per day. In the morning measure out her daily kibble and divide it up into 2 or 3 portions.

Those are the things I did back when my dog was fat, his ideal weight it around 8 lbs and he was nearly 12 lbs when I started. I cut back on his food, accounted for everything I was feeding him, cut out high calorie chews like bully sticks, and carefully watched the calories on his treats feeding him no more then 16 calories a day. When I started he rarely wanted to play, when out on walks he'd slowly walk and hardly ever trotted, he was beginning to have bad back problems. As the weight came off his energy level increased, he started to want to play, he now trots on walks.

I never bothered with the weight loss food, I kept him on his regular food and just cut back slightly on the portion, I used to feed him 1 slightly rounded 1/2 cup of food and a heaping teaspoon of wet food. I now feed him a little less then 1/2 cut of food, and a level teaspoon of wet food. To keep him from feeling hungry I feed him a little of the food 3 to 4 times a day (depends on if I'm home to feed him lunch).

Good luck to you and your girl! If my boy can lose the weight, your girl can.
 

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Check her thyroid. My dog gained five or ten pounds in a month and was sleeping all the time and was barely eating, one cup of dry food and one large can a day for a ninety pound dog.
My last dog was seventy five pounds and ate three cups of dry food and a large can a day and maintained the same weight his whole life and lived to be almost twelve.
I took him to the vet and he has hypothyroidism, more energy with thyroid medication. He's tough to get to play, doesn't like fetch or water. He'll play a little fetch with a squeaky ball but loves wrestling with his favorite dog buddies. So he goes to doggy daycare twice a week and plays a lot there.
Thyroid causes weight gain and low energy.
 

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Weight management food is like 'light' food for humans, if they eat too much of it, they'll still gain weight.


Decrease to 3/4 of a cup a day, switch to fat free cottage cheese. At 3yo you really shouldn't have to give treats anymore after potty though.
 

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The quantity recommendation on food containers is nothing more than a general guide. We feed ours way less then the recommended quantity. Feeding her more would result in weight gains, which I know because we have been there. I also only feed her fresh food, with just a little kibble thrown in for her to crunch on. Every dogs metabolism rate is different, finding your dogs rate is going to take some experimentation. We weigh ours at the Vets, every month, which helps me determine her food quantities for the next month.
 
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