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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys!
My golden is 2yrs old. We feed him Purina pro plan with probiotics and he gets 1 and a half cups twice a day. (Which is about 1150 calories a day) He weighs 93 pounds. We take him for 40 min plus walks 3-4 times a week, he goes to the dog park at least once or twice a week, plays with his little sister and occasionally swims. We rarely give him treats or table scraps. The vet said he is almost morbidly obese. I don't know what to do! I feel like he is a pretty active dog butI have no idea why he's so big. He doesn't look "fat" but he's definitely a big guy. Does anyone have advice on something better to feed him?
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The AKC Standard for a male Golden is 65-75 lbs.
It's always better to keep Goldens on the leaner side, it's better for their joints, hips, organs, and overall health just like it is for humans to be on the leaner side for the same reasons.

I would increase his exercise, decrease his calorie intake.
I would cut his food back to 1 cup of food at each feeding, for a total of 2 cups of food per day.


If you're feeding any treats throughout the day, you may need to cut his food back even more, you need to consider calories from treats in the overall intake of calories per day.

You can give fresh fruits and veggies as treats, cut out any table scraps.
If you are giving him any cheese, cheese is very high in calories.

You can also cut his food back by 1/4 to 1/2 cup, then supplement the remaining 1/4-1/2 cup of green beans. You can use fresh, frozen or canned, be sure they are unsalted. The green beans will fill him up.
 

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What Carolina Mom said!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah as I wrote we don't really give him any table scraps or treats! I'm kind of puzzled how he's this big! I know it's super unhealthy that's why I'm looking for advice 😁
 

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Is that a recent photo? Because I’m not seeing a hugely overweight dog there?

Are you sure your vet got his weight right? I took my Golden to the Emergency Vet one Sunday for an diarrhea problem…the very nice vet tech who weighed him in at 32 kg (correct) wrote down 52 kg by mistake. The vet came in, didn’t even look at my dog, and started in about his “morbid obesity.” I said, WHAT??? She said, “he weighs 114 pounds!!!” I looked at her, and said, “THAT DOG weighs 114 pounds ???,” like WTH, did you even look at him?

So…double check. Can you weigh him at home? Can you feel his ribs? You should be able to feel them but not see them. Vets aren’t infallible and some vets get weird obsessions about certain things. And maybe he just has a bigger frame overall? How tall is he at the withers?
 

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Sometimes the feeding directions on the dog food bag are shall we say, very generous. If you are feeding per the package, your dog is getting too much food. My old guy hovers around 90 pounds and gets one cup of PPP twice a day. The vet is barely ok with his weight and we have to be careful about treats. Cut back as others have suggested. Good luck getting him back to a healthy weight.
 

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Your does not look obese to me. However, you might try this formula. Feed him 10 calories per pound of goal weight per day. So, if you want him to weigh 80 pounds, feed him 800 calories per day. PPP is 396 calories per cup, so that would be two cups per day. Using this formula, our Max lost 23 pounds over the course of about 4 months. We feed our Rocky, who is four years old, 2 cups of PPP per day and he weighs 74 pounds. Rocky is a standard size Golden Retriever. However, some Goldens are bigger than the standard by being taller, or may have a larger bone structure. By the way, even at only 74 pounds, the vet complained that he was overweight. Our Max was a big Golden. Here are pictures of Rocky and Max.
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I agree that in the pictures you provided your dog does not look "morbidly obese." I don't go by the scale... I go by how he looks and feels, and aim for lean enough to easily feel his ribs when I pet him (without pressing in through any fat), but not so lean that I can easily see his ribs.

Do you know how tall he is (measure from the floor to the top of his shoulders)?

I would follow the advice already given here... cut kibble back to one cup twice a day. Honestly assess how many "treats" he may be getting. Give him more exercise (he should be getting at least 1/2 hour of hard, running, tongue out exercise every day - fetch, swimming, playing with other dogs, off-leash walks, etc.. Leash walking won't really do it, but if that's the best you can offer aim for at least an hour EVERY day - split up into two 30 minute walks if you can).

Give that a month or so and keep assessing how he looks and feels to you.

If making those changes does not seem to make a difference, it never hurts to get a Golden's thyroid tested...
 

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As a former LVT, I’d like to add that scales in vet clinics are rarely calibrated and often broken…and if the tech didn’t TARE the scale out before weighing your dog his weight could be way off. Do you have his weights over time to see if it really has increased that much?
 

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Also, can you lift him? If you can, you can weigh yourself on a human scale, then pick him up and weigh yourself again to see how much he really weighs.

Personally, I do think he looks overweight, but not morbidly obese. I recommend keeping a weight journal for him so you can track if he's actually losing or not. I made a table for my dogs with a column for weight and a column for body condition. I try to weigh them weekly and put their body condition in the next column so I have visual of their progress (or maintenance for my active one). The article I linked above explains how to assess body condition, but please ask questions here if you are having trouble with it. With dogs, body condition is more important than weight alone.
 

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My vet recently told me that my Theo was overweight and he should lose 6 pounds. I don't see that at all in him. I think the scale wasn't quite right. He has a lean hourglass and I can feel his ribs. He is a nervous dog and it's hard to get him to sit still on the scale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone. We have weighed him at home, he definitely weighs 93 lbs. I'll see if I have a pic where you can see his body better but I agree he doesn't look obese to me
 

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Ok, based on that photo I’d say definitely overweight, but still not obese. You should see an actual waist on him looking down from above. Time for a diet!
 
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