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I need to help my toy spaniel, Tess, lose some weight. She is on a prescription diet for bladder stones, so I can't switch her food. I would like to cut back on it by adding other things to her bowl, however. I've read here that some people give their dogs green beans. Do you cook them or parboil them first, or feed them raw? Are there other foods that people suggest? Has anyone given their dog tofu or soy products?

Any and all suggestions welcomed.

FYI, I'm going to increase her exercise a bit, but can only do so much with her because she has bad hips and a heart murmur. She'll be 9 years in March.
 

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People use the canned, unsalted green beans to bulk up food.

Personally, I'd probably skip that route and simply cut back a teeny bit a day until I'm at the target amount. I'm not convinced that dogs have a huge personal investment in the amount of stuff in the bowl. You could also measure out the food for the day and then dole it out in bits at a time, all day.

Does she swim at all? That's the single best low impact exercise for a dog.
 

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People use the canned, unsalted green beans to bulk up food.

Personally, I'd probably skip that route and simply cut back a teeny bit a day until I'm at the target amount. I'm not convinced that dogs have a huge personal investment in the amount of stuff in the bowl. You could also measure out the food for the day and then dole it out in bits at a time, all day.

Does she swim at all? That's the single best low impact exercise for a dog.
I do measure her food out every morning, and have been gradually cutting it back. She's down to about 3/4 of a cup per day. It just doesn't seem like much nutrition for her. I was hoping to add something nutritious and low calorie so I could cut back a bit more. She's been getting more interested in swimming since we got Tucker, so that's a possibility. It's inconvenient to get to water where dogs can swim around here, however, so my best bet is to walk her on a leash. When I take her to the dog park, she walks over to me and sits down :confused: so people can pet her.
 

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I do measure her food out every morning, and have been gradually cutting it back. She's down to about 3/4 of a cup per day. It just doesn't seem like much nutrition for her. I was hoping to add something nutritious and low calorie so I could cut back a bit more. She's been getting more interested in swimming since we got Tucker, so that's a possibility. It's inconvenient to get to water where dogs can swim around here, however, so my best bet is to walk her on a leash. When I take her to the dog park, she walks over to me and sits down :confused: so people can pet her.
If she's overweight and the food is a good food, she's getting more than enough nutrition. Dog food can be very nutrient and calorie dense, so sometimes the amount doesn't look like enough for the human eye.

So as you cut back, if she's eating enough good food to maintain a healthy weight, she's getting enough nutrition. Getting her to a healthy weight will make a lot bigger difference in her health and longevity than anything else you can do.

You could supplement with fish oil if it makes you feel better. It's one of the few supplements that have strong science behind them. It has anti-inflammatory properties and some good vitamins in it.
 

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If you do want to add green beans, make sure they are sodium free. Personally,I prefer the frozen bags. I can get a large bag at Sam's for about $5. When our girls were dieting, I fed them frozen, or heated just for a little bit in the micro.
 

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She does get salmon oil, and glucosamine/chondroitin.

I think I'll try peas and green beans in small quantities. I googled around and found a wide variety of recommendations, including broccoli, celery and cabbage. So I may just start giving her a bit of whatever green vegetable we're having for dinner (without any add-ons like salt or butter).
 

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I have used the frozen veggies in the past,(warmed up of course) all kinds. Better than the canned stuff which tends to be high in salt.
 

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I would not recommend tofu or soy products - they can be very problematic.

Broccoli can be quite gas producing. Green beans (low sodium) may be your best vegetable to add a sensation of fullness.

You may also want to investigate some other options to the "prescription" diet you're feeding that would provide a better sense of fullness and better nutrition. Ask your vet what the best levels (guaranteed analysis) he/she thinks your dog requires in terms of protein, fat, purine percentages, etc. But don't be surprised if he can't answer that very specifically; because the average vet training doesn't spend much time on the subject. There are probably formulas that you could buy at the store that would fall into the correct range. Another option would be to seek out a wholistic vet who has availed herself of additional nutritional education beyond what vet schools offer.

When we're talking about chronic conditions, what is put into the body on a daily basis matters tremendously. Home-cooking might be of great benefit for your dog.
 
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