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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

We're a family O' five, two dogs, a couple of pet rats, and a flock of backyard chickens. I have a beagle (Koda) - possibly a beagle/basset mix, but the previous owners claim he's a purebred, and a mutt we adopted from the shelter (Pippin) whose papers say "blue heeler mix" and who knows what else, a terrier by his looks and behavior, would be my guess. He's 14 months old.

Koda weighs 45 lbs; I'll attach a photo. He's been on diet food and 20+ minute daily walks since we got him at about a year old; now he is 3 years old. We also have a large-ish back yard where he spends a good part of his day running and playing with Pippin, and chasing and howling at squirrels and other potential threats on our life :eyeroll: We did the expensive diet food from the vet for a while without much progress. Now he's on Beneful Healthy Weight, 1.5 cups per day (Pippin, who is smaller but much more energetic, gets 2 cups per day of regular food).

Here's the thing. We recently caught him eating the chicken feed outside. These are mostly grains with some soy protein. We've sometimes caught him stealing eggs from the coop also (he's just small enough to fit inside the chicken door), but thought it was a relatively rare occurrence. I'm thinking this is the reason he's not losing any weight. Eggs are probably 100-200 calories each? Plus a bunch of poultry feed made of mostly grains?

In the next few weeks, I'm building an enclosure for the chickens that have previously just roamed the yard. Their food will be inside the enclosure, as well as access to the coop. I'm hoping this will make a big difference in Koda's weight loss.

My only question is, are there other things I'm missing? Is a 20 minute walk plus yard time not enough? Is 1.5 cups of feed too much? Anything I haven't thought of? I have high hopes that just eliminating access to the chicken food/ eggs will work, I just want to make sure I'm covering all the bases.
 

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Welcome to the forum, and koda is verry cute :)
I think the eggs and chicken feed could be a contributer. Im not super knoladgable on the subject so dont quote me. I would say up his exercise, beagles are a relativly active breed. Start slow and maybe build up to a mile or two a day. What are you currently feeding? Is he getting lots of table scraps? Does he get lots of treats? Do you have any side view pics of him standing or one thats top down (above him so you can see his back)?
Untill you build the enclosure on days you see him stealing eggs or food i wouldcut back his food a bit to compensate for the extra cals/protean.
If its something thats possible or something your interested in you could also talk to a pet/Dog nutritionist to help get a good weight loss plan for him.
 

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I would personally put him on a higher quality food and feed less. There are a lot of fillers in Beneful, which aren't useful.

If you're able to get him on a good food with a high meat content, he'll eat less and his body will use what he does eat more efficiently.

Chicken feed could be a problem; an egg occasionally shouldn't hurt unless he's eating a lot every time. But it's a good idea to figure out how to keep him out - if he can get into the eggs, other animals soon will as well and that'll be a danger to your chickens.

Do you have a pet supply store nearby, or a local pet shop? They tend to sell the higher quality foods and can probably help you find something that will work for your dog. It'll cost more, but you'll feed less, so it shouldn't work out to that much more -- plus as young as he is, you'll be preventing costly vet bills by him losing the weight. ;)
 

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Koda looks so sweet. :) Welcome!
My dog is currently a healthy 40 pounds and she eats the same amount of food that Koda eats. 1.5 cups per day. I have her on Halo kibble right now. I would definitely switch her over to a better food, like Poppykenna mentioned. I've also noticed that the feeding instructions on the bag always recommend too much food in my experience. I always feed a little less and monitor her weight. I would also say give her more walking time, but gradually. At least 45-minutes or two 20 minute walks if it's easier.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Koda looks so cute :D. Daily exercise and what your doing right now with her is very good for keeping the dog healthy. I currently feed my 9 year old Havanese dog ProPlan with the bits and pieces of chicken (which she is in love with). As mentioned above, you can also switch to Poppykenna. Good luck and see you around! :thumbsup:
 

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The problem with beagles is that they are lazy around the house so people don't exercise them a lot. When you have a crazy hyper dog, it almost forces you to take them out a lot. But they were bred to go for a long time. 20 minutes is not much at all for a beagle. My beagle mix can go all day long, 20 minutes wouldn't even put a dent in her energy. I would try upping the walks for sure.
 

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Hi!
Honestly, I think you are feeding way to much. My 35 pound corgi mix gets 3/4 cup of Taste of the Wild, and since beagles way less than that... yeah.
You should also get him on a higher quality food. Feed him the amount for the weight he is supposed to weigh (male beagles should weigh between 22-24 lbs) My dogs do great on Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream. Also, I would advise against "diet" dog foods. They are often lower in fat, and dogs need a considerable amount of fat in their diet.
Once he sheds a few pounds or when he seems comfortable walking longer distances, up his exercise. A good hour long walk with lot's of off leash romping in the yard would benefit him.
Beagles are not low energy dogs, and looking at those pictures I honestly don't see any basset. One of my running buddies runs 10k races with her beagle.
Again, healthy food plus exercise equals ideal body weight. :)
 

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Koda, at 45 pounds looks like my Beagle, Joe (deceased) who 1 overfed to the point of being diagnosed with congenital heart disease (persistent cough is one symptom.) From experience, I would suggest reducing the quantity of food
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies! Upping his walks will be a lot easier as it warms up, so I'll definitely try a longer walk for him (probably wouldn't hurt me either LOL). Feeding was never an issue with our first dog (a coonhound), because not only did she have crazy energy, but we could also literally just fill her dish to the top and she'd eat only when she was hungry. We gave her eggs every day on purpose - she had a beautiful shiny coat! These guys, though? They will eat every crumb in sight, if you let them. :) had to buy a sturdy tote to keep their food in, because they chewed through the bag.

I use regular dog food for training, no treats, minimal table scraps (I don't sanction this, but I do have children). Considering going back to the lamb and rice food I used to buy, or possibly a grain-free formula. Have any of you fed grain-free? Brand recommendations?
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There are tons of great grain free's out there with lots of different meat types, single and multisource. Just guessing but is the diet from your vet Science Diet?
I personally feed grain free as my dog does better off grains, I know some of the good ones that I know of are Taste of The Wild, Fromm (has both grain free and inclusive), Earthborn Holistic, 4Health, Zignature (though that's more single source/limited ingredient), and Natural Balance (again mostly single source/limited ingredient but they do have some multi source ones). I know there are some other good ones that others on here feed their dogs so hopefully they can jump in with more suggestions.
I would also look into the benefits of certain meats, I know some are more easily digestable and some are a little lower on calories. You could also look into a high quality food that's lower in calories, I know some make food specificly low call or you can look on the back to see its calorie count.
 

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I use regular dog food for training, no treats, minimal table scraps (I don't sanction this, but I do have children). Considering going back to the lamb and rice food I used to buy, or possibly a grain-free formula. Have any of you fed grain-free? Brand recommendations?
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There are lot of good foods out there, and grain free is the best way to go. Mine get Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream because one of them has trouble eating chicken.
There is a great site right here:
Dry Dog Food Reviews | Dog Food Advisor
Take a look at the 4 and 5 star foods. Tractor Supply has a affordable brand called 4health. Buying foods at a pet store is usually the most expensive. I order from https://www.chewy.com
I have fed Orijen with success in the past but it is very expensive. Also Fromm, Core, Merrick, and TimberWolf are great foods.
I would advise against feeding the popular Blue Buffalo brand as they lied about their ingredients, claiming their food was by-product free when it was actually not.
 

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1.5 cups is also probably too much for how limited his activity is. (As hard as it is to believe, a short walk and free roaming a yard isn't really a lot of activity) My beagle who is very active (goes to work with me at a doggy daycare, goes on hikes, runs at the park, all of these for hours) only gets a cup a day and an extra 1/4 of a cup on the days she's the most active (when she comes to work with me). She also gets treats and an occasional pork neck for teeth cleaning. Beneful is also a very poor quality food filled with carb fillers and very little protein, everything people have suggested is good. I personally feed Fromm Four Star Grain Free, lamb and lentil.
I would start out feeding a cup a day with a filler, like frozen green beans, to keep him full. If he eats fast, get a slow feeder. He will feel less hungry if he slows down.

When my beagle was getting pudgy at about a year and half (pretty common with a lot of dogs), she was eating 1.5-2 cups of Science Diet. Now she eats 1 1/4 (at most) cups of a grain free, high protein food (Fromm's right now) and she is nice and trim.

Here are some pictures of Jayne when she was overweight (about 31 lbs) and at her healthy weight (29 lbs) to give you an idea of how much a few pounds difference makes on a beagle and maybe give you an idea of where he should be. Granted, Jayne is a very leggy and naturally dainty beagle.

 

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No matter who says what, the reality is, barring medical issues, weight gain or loss, is always based on calories consumed vs calories used. This can vary a great deal, based on the individual dogs metabolism. Samantha, for example is fairly active and only gets a little over half the ‘recommended’ quantity of food, and treats consist of tiny pieces of chicken jerky, cut pieces of apple and carrots. If she ate even half of what she wanted, she would be morbidly obese, which I will not allow to happen.
 

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Most weight reduction foods have lots of filler in them to fill the dog up without adding calories. You can do the same with a higher quality (but probably about the same cost as rx food or maybe even less) food and fibrous veggies like green beans, you can feed them fresh, frozen, or canned (no salt)- substitute sufficient amount of green beans to compensate for the "volume" or food you cut back. So if you drop him down to 1 1/4 cups a day, you would add at least 1/4 cup green beans, though you could give more if he seems hungry. You don't necessarily have to add a filler to make up for reduced volume, but it may help to lessen the grazing that he's doing in the yard, and would help if he's bothering you for food.

Generally, the recommended feeding amounts on the bag are for young, active, intact dogs, so your dog's caloric needs will be less if he is older, neutered, and/or not super active. Also, as someone else said, you should be feeding for the weight he should be, not the weight he currently is. If you have only known him as a fat dog, you might check to see if his medical records indicate what his weight was around 1 year of age to give you an idea (this is good for small to medium dogs, for large/giant breed dogs, you would want to look at the weight at a slightly older age, essentially as a young adult in any case), or you could ask his vet what his goal weight should be. If you find that you are reducing his food but he's still not losing weight, and you know that he's not getting extra calories from the chickens or kids, it might be worth having his thyroid levels tested to rule that out as a possible contributing factor. I think a lot of beagles just tend to be "air ferns" though, and between low caloric needs and higher intake because many are big eaters, they get tubby :) Some people say that multiple smaller meals throughout the day are more helpful for weight loss, as it encourages the body's metabolism to speed up, so if you are only feeding once, maybe try switching to 2x daily (1/2 the daily total at each meal). IMO, 1.5 cups/day may be too much for him, so I would try cutting him back, maybe 1/4 cup at a time (every 2 weeks or so) until you begin to see some weight loss, then maintain that amount until he's close to his ideal weight, at which point you may have to increase it a hair to maintain.

You can certainly try to increase the amount of exercise he's getting, but I wouldn't worry too much about it yet, and definitely don't overdo it, as overweight dogs are more prone to injury. Barring him from the chicken food and eggs will probably go a long way toward his weight loss, too, so between those things, you should be set :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sharing a more "from the top" pic, but unfortunately not a good one - he was totally not cooperating with me :eyeroll:. He's kind of big for a beagle, just in stature, so that's why I was thinking he might be a basset or other mix.

The food we got from the vet was Royal Canin, the amount dictated by the vet (I think it was 1 cup per day). The amount I feed now is just based on the chart on the bag, so it's good info to know those charts are not necessarily applicable.

We adopted Koda from some neighbors in town who "hated" him. They got him as a 6 week old. Said he "couldn't be housebroken". Said he was a "bad dog". They kept him in a kennel outside, feeding him here and there maybe every other day, while their weimaraner got to live in the cozy house with the family. It was $%&ing tragic. So, when they said they were "getting rid" of him when he was a year old, we offered to take him off their hands. Because of this, and probably because beagles are big hogs to begin with, he's very food-driven and food-protective. Scarf-and-barf kind of driven, which made us divide his feedings up through the day to limit the amount he eats all at once. Still, he knows his feeding times, and is waiting by the food bowl when you go to give him his dinner. Those neighbors in town, though? They were so wrong. He was housebroken in two weeks (at a year old!), and he's a fantastic dog!

Thanks so much for the links! I have a lot of reading to do! You have all been a great help!!
 

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He looks a lot better in those pictures than the first picture you posted! He has a nice start of a tuck going. I highly recommend getting a slow feeder if he eats too fast, it'll make both of your lives easier. They sell a variety of them at PetSmart and Petco.
 

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Royal Canin is not a very good food. Vets do not receive much education in nutrition and they are are trying to sell the product. Royal Canin is full of brewers rice and corn, things that your dog does not need. You can get much better food at a better price.
 
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