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I need to get at least 25 pounds off my senior boy. I had switched him to Pro PLan senior a while pack and boy did he pack on the pounds! I know from having issues with him in the past that he does better with a "light" formula than he does having less of a regular formula.

My hubby trying to be helpful, brought him home large breed, weight control, Iams and fed it to him last night without consulting me first. I went back to the store and spent about an hour (at Petco) last night talking to a bunch of employees and customers, who saw my obvious confusion and tried to help. My vet just said feed him less, but he doesn't have to deal with a miserable and confused 10 year old dog who wants his tummy full.

I have gone to the ratings site and didn't really feel an "ah-ha!" moment as far as what he should be on. I am not really interested in feeding raw and he has been on dry kibble his whole life.

Is there such a thing as a large breed, senior, "diet" formula? I'm feeling pretty frustrated and not a little bit stupid.
 

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Cut back his food, but add some green beans (no salt added) as a filler. It can be done. I took 25 pounds off my older guy about 4 years ago. We struggle to maintain his weight now, but he looks great.

Goldens are great at telling you they're hungry. They just like to eat.

Good luck!
 

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Try California Natural Low-Fat. That's what I have Dakota on. He's done fine on it.



I need to get at least 25 pounds off my senior boy. I had switched him to Pro PLan senior a while pack and boy did he pack on the pounds! I know from having issues with him in the past that he does better with a "light" formula than he does having less of a regular formula.

My hubby trying to be helpful, brought him home large breed, weight control, Iams and fed it to him last night without consulting me first. I went back to the store and spent about an hour (at Petco) last night talking to a bunch of employees and customers, who saw my obvious confusion and tried to help. My vet just said feed him less, but he doesn't have to deal with a miserable and confused 10 year old dog who wants his tummy full.

I have gone to the ratings site and didn't really feel an "ah-ha!" moment as far as what he should be on. I am not really interested in feeding raw and he has been on dry kibble his whole life.

Is there such a thing as a large breed, senior, "diet" formula? I'm feeling pretty frustrated and not a little bit stupid.
 

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I have found that most of the foods sold as "large breed" tend to be lower in calories plus add extra glucosamine which would be beneficial to an older dog. They keep the protein at a good level too. I like the looks of Innova Large Breed kibble. They also make one for Large Breed Senior. These "large breed" foods are about 200 calories per cup lower than the regular Innova Adult Dog food. I believe that the term "large breed" is just a marketing ploy but the food itself is really good and might work for your needs.
 

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I second the green beans idea, but I also agree with the vet that tough love is important too. Some Goldens want to eat a lot more than they really need. That "empty tummy" look might be more about habits than about actual hunger. They tend to be confused and upset when important things change around, like the amount of food, as their memory of the routine and what actually happens are in conflict. It might be that he gets used to smaller amounts, particularly if you make it happen slowly and fill in with the green beans.

Study after study has shown the incredible effect that proper weight has on chronic health problems and longevity. An overweight dog can lose 10%-20% or more off his lifespan and tends to experience things like arthritis, joint problems, skin problems, breathing problems, immune system problems, and heart disease much earlier in life. There's emerging research that even suggests certain cancers are more likely to afflict overweight dogs.

I know those big brown eyes are hard to resist, but I also feel the fragile and fleeting nature of a dog's life. They just don't live long enough, but healthy weight is something we can absolutely give them.

Yeesh...I kind of got on a rant there. I definitely don't mean to come across as judgmental or anything crazy like that. I just wanted to advocate strongly for the tough love and green beans approach. It could mean two extra healthy years with your pal.
 

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chew chew chew
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Add the green beans to his meals, and keep in mind some dogs will ALWAYS be hungry and want to eat. Bender is totally that kinda girl, the only time she turned down a meal was when she had pyro and was very, very sick.

If I fed her till she was full, she likely would be about 150 lbs of 'still hungry'.:D

When he's giving you 'the look' grab his leash and take him for a walk around the block, take out a brush and brush his coat, or find a toy and play with him. The 'look' doesn't mean you should feed him.

Lana
 

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Guess I expressed myself badly...I have no problem with tough love. Ask my hubby I just got 20 lbs off of him. ;) This is not our first go-round with the weight issue. Last time he was on a cheap diet food and veggies and he got the weight off and kept it off for years. If it was just him looking sad it'd be fine. He gets obnoxious and barks and spends a lot of time out on the deck.

He's given us so much love and joy over the years and I know his health is the bottom line but I also feel at his age, if I can make it a bit easier on him to lose the weight I owe it to him to do so.

I just found it odd that the vet (he's an old fat curmudgeon himself lol) didn't even want to discuss a diet plan or food recommendation. Just barked "Feed him less" at me.

I appreciate the feedback and helpful advice. Even the "scolding" which, while unnecessary (there is nobody that feels worse about this than I do and I am on a mission to get the weight off of him), I know was coming from the best possible place. I'll take a look at those brands that were recommended. Thank!
 

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Guess I expressed myself badly...I have no problem with tough love. Ask my hubby I just got 20 lbs off of him. ;) This is not our first go-round with the weight issue. Last time he was on a cheap diet food and veggies and he got the weight off and kept it off for years. If it was just him looking sad it'd be fine. He gets obnoxious and barks and spends a lot of time out on the deck.

He's given us so much love and joy over the years and I know his health is the bottom line but I also feel at his age, if I can make it a bit easier on him to lose the weight I owe it to him to do so.

I just found it odd that the vet (he's an old fat curmudgeon himself lol) didn't even want to discuss a diet plan or food recommendation. Just barked "Feed him less" at me.

I appreciate the feedback and helpful advice. Even the "scolding" which, while unnecessary (there is nobody that feels worse about this than I do and I am on a mission to get the weight off of him), I know was coming from the best possible place. I'll take a look at those brands that were recommended. Thank!
Yeah, I knew I came on a little strong. I have no doubt you love your dog and care deeply about him. I definitely had no intention to scold. Anyway, have you thought about trying the green beans? They're apparently very filling and lo cal.
 

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Maryland
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Did your Vet run a FULL Thyroid Panel? TELL him to do it. (Vets often balk...but they're often wrong when they say "I don't think we need to". It's your money and your dog....check that thyroid out completely). Send it out (not the in house test). Even if everything else (skin and coat) *looks* fine....he might have a thyroid problem. Goldens are known for this. Thyroid can cause many many issues. Weight, skin and coat problems are just scratching the surface.

http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/THYROID-ARTICLES.HTM

Even if he does have a thyroid problem and needs to be on monthly medication, you'll still need to put him on a weight loss program. Excercise. Walking/swimming at least a couple of times a day...increasing time and distance as he becomes accustomed to it.

I'd try a grain free food....something like Taste of the Wild.

My Vet calls it the Adkins Diet for dogs. LOL It's higher in protein, moderate fat, low carbs. NO GRAINS.

Those of ours who needed to drop a few pounds definitely did on this food. It takes time....it took time to gain the weight, and it'll take time to lose it.

Also feed three smaller meals a day, and make sure you give a COUPLE (not five or six) treats before bed (we don't give treats other than at bed time).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did your Vet run a FULL Thyroid Panel? TELL him to do it. (Vets often balk...but they're often wrong when they say "I don't think we need to". It's your money and your dog....check that thyroid out completely). Send it out (not the in house test). Even if everything else (skin and coat) *looks* fine....he might have a thyroid problem. Goldens are known for this. Thyroid can cause many many issues. Weight, skin and coat problems are just scratching the surface.

http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/THYROID-ARTICLES.HTM

Even if he does have a thyroid problem and needs to be on monthly medication, you'll still need to put him on a weight loss program. Excercise. Walking/swimming at least a couple of times a day...increasing time and distance as he becomes accustomed to it.

I'd try a grain free food....something like Taste of the Wild.

My Vet calls it the Adkins Diet for dogs. LOL It's higher in protein, moderate fat, low carbs. NO GRAINS.

Those of ours who needed to drop a few pounds definitely did on this food. It takes time....it took time to gain the weight, and it'll take time to lose it.

Also feed three smaller meals a day, and make sure you give a COUPLE (not five or six) treats before bed (we don't give treats other than at bed time).
No he didn't do any testing. I mentioned the horible flaking and what seemed like hot flashes but he just kept saying feed him less. My hubby loves this vet but I've never been a big fan of his. I don't feel like he listens to me at all.
 

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I would strongly second the idea to get a full thyroid panel.... sent out. Even a reading of low normal, is LOW in a golden and needs treatment. Even many vets are not aware of this. You can get a consult with Dr Jean Dodds to determine if treatment is needed and a doseage. As hard as it can be, you are your pet's advocate and you need to have the final say in his care. Please keep us posted... we care.
 

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Interestingly, dogs do not want to eat more so that they experience that "full feeling," but rather their bodies are telling them that they want more calories. No scientific research has found that feeding more food (extra bulk) satisfies their appetite because they're not after bulk - they're after calories. Further, no scientific research has found that feeding more carbohydrates give them that full sensation - that is a myth.

The vast majority of "senior" formulas are flawed, as they are too low in protein. As dogs (& humans) age, our muscles experience a process called "muscle catabolization," which refers to the deterioration of the lean muscle tissue. To counteract that process, we must increase exercise & increase protein to keep the muscle tissue intact. As such, senior dogs need more protein, not less. A properly formulated "senior" formula should be moderate to high in protein (26-38%) & low in fat (10-15%). BUT, remember, raw unprocessed fat is a great source of readily metabolizable energy too! I've formulated weight loss plans for clients dogs who were severely obese & added an appropriate level of organic extra virgin coconut oil to their nutritional regimens, which increased their energy levels, & in-turn, helped them burn more calories.

Eggs are the most highly digestible source of protein for canines. So, perhaps you could throw in a few hard-boiled eggs with each meal.
 

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No he didn't do any testing. I mentioned the horible flaking and what seemed like hot flashes but he just kept saying feed him less. My hubby loves this vet but I've never been a big fan of his. I don't feel like he listens to me at all.
Make him listen. Stand up to him. As Penny and Maggie's Mom said...we are our pet's advocates. They cannot speak for themselves. It's our responsibility to stand up for them and to demand the care they deserve.

Just tell him you insist it be done. You don't need to be argumentative...just tell him to do it. He may "poo pooh" you...but ask him to humor you. And make sure he sends it out to a lab. FULL PANEL.

Oh and if it turns out you're right...and your dog does have a thyroid problem, expect the Vet to either respect you more in the future, or REALLY get hostile. LOL If he does the latter...it'll be the perfect time to find a new Vet.
 

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The Wellness Weight Loss took 20lbs off my neighbor's lab, something I never thought I'd see. He's like a different dog. Eagle Pack Large Breed is a decent food- but I cant feed it bc I cant keep weight on them. The lbs melt off with Eagle Pack Large Breed.
 

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Make him listen. Stand up to him. As Penny and Maggie's Mom said...we are our pet's advocates. They cannot speak for themselves. It's our responsibility to stand up for them and to demand the care they deserve.

Just tell him you insist it be done. You don't need to be argumentative...just tell him to do it. He may "poo pooh" you...but ask him to humor you. And make sure he sends it out to a lab. FULL PANEL.

Oh and if it turns out you're right...and your dog does have a thyroid problem, expect the Vet to either respect you more in the future, or REALLY get hostile. LOL If he does the latter...it'll be the perfect time to find a new Vet.
I really think my biggest problem was having my hubby there. (Didn't have a choice, I have a bad back and wasn't getting this dog in car by myself even with the doggie steps) He loves our vet and respects his opinion. When I persisted in asking questions they both kind of shut me down. If I had the final say in all this it would have been a very different conversation. In retrospect and in all fairness, I think the vet thought I wasn't trying to take ownership of is weight gain, which I'm sure he sees a lot.

On a positive note I have been taking in all the advice here and have decided to both change his food and decrease his amount of food. I'm going to spend some time today looking at labels. I have a place to start as obviously the Pro Plan senior was the wrong choice for him.

Midas and I had a nice walk this morning, the one good thing about this is that I've been able to walk him again. My hubby had been doing it and Midas had gotten pretty lax about his leash discipline and had started pulling. Well he doesn't pull my my hubby (he's 6'3" so he just strolls and the dog runs to keep up lol)

So, I'm looking at feeding in smaller amounts a good quality high protein regular fat food. Supplementing possibly with green beans (he had some last night and did okay) and possibly additional protein. I'm intrigued by the coconut oil and will be doing a bit of research of that as well.

Will call the vet and talk about the thyroid panel. Not to be crass but $$ are a real issue for us at the moment. Any idea of some cost on that. I know our vet is quite pricey, we are actually deciding to possibly do his shots at a clinic because he over chargeso much.

You guys have been, as usual an invaluable resource and inspiration. Thanks!
 
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