Obese elderly dogs

haldOctober 8, 2009

I have 4 dogs, ages 10 months, and 8, 14, and 15 years. The 14 and 15 year olds have become a little overweight. A logical part of me thinks I should reduce their food intake. But they are nearing the end of their life expectancy for their breed, and food is one of their greatest pleasures, so I hesitate to put them on a diet, though I have cut back their portions a bit. I'm feeling that a little overweight is ok at their ages. What do you think?

All four are active indoor/outdoor small terriers. The 5 of us walk each morning about 1 1/2 miles. I'd say they have had just average physical health issues over the years. They are mainly companion animals. I'm not talking grossly obese, more like if you were a man like me who is about 20lbs comfortably overweight and 100 years old (I'm not 100, but I think Stuart would be in dog years).

This came up in a conversation with a friend; I wondered what other people think.


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although being overweight isn't ideal, at their ages, and with food being a simple pleasure for them, i think i'd indulge them. i have a senior great dane that needs to lose a few pounds and we're working on it. it's hard when she looks at me with those soulful eyes and begs for just one more handful of kibble!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 6:36AM
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I tend to agree with you... you don't want an obese dog... but an elderly dog that is slightly overweight, yet comfortable, isn't a huge problem.

I think my old lab could stand to loose a couple pounds... my vet says she's a well fed pet...she's no longer a sleek hunter, but she's not too fat either.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:05AM
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You can cut back the total amount of food given per day, but divide it into smaller portions so they eat more often. Then they will feel spoiled even more by getting more meals, but be healthier since they will lose weight. Dogs don't really notice when you cut back the amount of food, just in the number of meals, unless they are *really* overfed.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 3:28PM
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something else you can do, i do this with my senior great dane, is add some canned green beans to her meals. i also give her a special treat during the day, a bowl of green beans. she loves them! there are virtually no calories and they're a good "filler upper". :)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 9:14AM
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I put some of their daily food into a bowl and when I give them a treat it's a kibble or two and they don't get anything extra that way.Of course this would be hard to do with wet food.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 11:09AM
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