At wits end with fat dog!!

luvdogsNovember 13, 2012

I have a miniature english bulldog that i adopted a couple of years ago from some people who couldn't afford to fix her tail. She was obese when i got her.

I hate fat dogs!

But this dog, despite 2 small daily feedings, appears to find things to eat in the yard and comes in at night quite fat and sassy!! I'm going to keep her in the house as an experiment and see if that teaches me anything.

Does anyone else have a dog that just INSISTS on being fat??!! She's like obsessed with food. Help! She will be a cripple if she continues to gain weight as she has small bones and her joints will not support long-term obesity.

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Have you had her vet checked? She could have a thyroid condition. She's an English Bulldog right? To tell you the truth, she looks like your average English Bulldog, they pretty much look like that. What does your vet say about HER weight? Seriously though, every EB I've ever seen looks just like this.

Here is a link that might be useful: photos of the breed

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:32PM
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well, when we had that expensive surgery to fix her tail, they did all the bloodwork and never mentioned anything wrong like that. And she's always acted this same way.

A lot of EB's are allowed to be overweight - most are house dogs and not that active so they get heavy. I like my dogs lean and they all are, except this piglet. So you will see EB's overweight usually. In fact, when i took one of my other EB's to the vet, she looked at her and said, "Wow, she's got a waist!". So vets usually see fat EB's too.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Well I guess every single EB pictured on the internet is, according to you, "FAT" because even the champion show dogs are the same as your dog. She actually looks thinner than very many of the photos of EB. Do you take her walking daily like about 3 miles a day? My dogs have always needed at least an hour walk a day to keep from having any weight problems. Dogs need lots of exercise daily for sound mind and body!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:07PM
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I'm not following your statement that she finds things in the yard and comes in fat. What's she finding in the yard to eat?
If you're feeding 2 small meals a day and she's still acting hungry, check the diet you're feeding. A quality diet should leave your dog full and feeling satisfied. Poor diet = dogs that never feel full.

She looks to be a good size, as others have said. Just keep up with daily exercise to keep her muscles toned and joints healthy.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:32PM
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Guarantee you that those show dogs are overweight! Most dogs in america are overweight. That's why they have all those low calorie diets on the market now! Over 50% of dogs are fat in the U.S. Its in the press constantly.

I've never had a dog that acts like this - and i've had about a zillion dogs in my life. She's different somehow. I have 3 other EB's and they don't act like this. Of course, they're all interested in food - but this dog - Pocket - is obsessed with it.

Annz: For example, we think she's finding grain on the ground that is dropped when we feed horses. I live out in the country with about an acre for her to find things. I think she spends a lot of time foraging.

I'd be willing to bet if i fed her MORE than i was supposed to - that she would still act this way. She's obsessed with eating. She should be about 35 pounds and is closer to 45 i bet but i need to weigh her.

I'll just have to experiment and see how she is if she can't get anything but what i give her. I'll keep her in the house a lot - she'll love that.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:50PM
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If you let a dog live outside unsupervised, this is what can happen. They can get into and eat all kinds of stuff. This is one of the many reasons that rescue groups generally don't adopt to people who are hoping to keep their dogs outside.

Like was said, your dog looks fine. She has a nice, tucked waist and I can see bone but with a nice layer of flesh over top.

There can be many reasons why a dog will eat them self silly. Poor diet, breed (most hounds are famous for this), boredom, behavioral issues, and health.

You have to find out what factors are contributing to her never being satisfied. Do you just dump her food in a bowl or do you put it in toys so she can work for it and make it last for a longer time?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:33AM
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She's adorable!!!!

I have a lab and she lives to eat. She only gets 3/4 cup of high quality dry food 2x a day, and very little treats. (She gets treats as training rewards.) She weighs 60 lbs and is perfect.

The things she scarfs off the ground (we live with horses) are minimal.

She lives to eat, and I can't change that. But I am very careful with her feedings and she gets exercise.

Exercising an EBD is questionable, though, because of their respiratory problems. So I am thinking to reduce her food intake.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:51AM
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You should have her Thyroid checked out. Testing for T4 is a special test. It is not tested automatically with a Super Chem or CBC.

I had a dog who seemed to be fine but gained weight. She was hungry all the time. I kept feeding her less and less. Finally, while checking for another problem I decided to check for T4, because I was frustrated with ther hunger and weight gain. She also liked her food from Day 1, so I didn't think it was a Thyroid problem. Her Thyroid came back low, so I put her on Soloxine.

Another thing I learned is that when they are on a thyroid med, you should check them initially after 30 days of starting meds to make sure it's working properly. Then you should check their T4 bloodwork once a year. The best way is to check the level i.e. 4 hours after administration so you get accurate , consistent readings, without guesswork. Their bloodwork while on thyroid meds should be at the high end of normal.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:31AM
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One more thing:

Do you have a copy of his last bloodwork(Super Chem & CBC)?

Were his Lipids and Liver functions ok?

No signs of Cushings?
I'm not trying to scare you, but I'm thinking that he must be pretty miserable if he's hungry all the time.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:02AM
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She's a cutie!

My lab was like you describe your dog- just lived to eat. She was an indoor dog the great majority of the time, but when she was out, she started looking for anything and everything- from mushrooms that popped up in the yard to birdseed. We did our best to check the yard daily and keep all those things to a minimum, but man, it's amazing what they can find to eat.

She had skinny little legs and we were warned that she would suffer physically from being overweight. We cut back her dog food by a small percentage, and then again in a few weeks when that didn't seem to be working. One vet recommended that we feed her low calorie produce as snacks- the vet recommended Brussel sprouts, even straight from the freezer. Our dog loved carrots and romaine lettuce in particular (as well as peas, watermelon, and a few other things), so we would treat her with those and it seemed to help satisfy her need to eat and still allow her to lose weight. She did eventually achieve a better weight, but we always fed her produce here and there because she enjoyed it so much. I'm not saying to turn your dog into a salad-eating vegetarian, but it can be a decent way to supplement without adding a lot of calories.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:03PM
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A Vet once told me there are 2 kinds of dogs. Most are the ones that eat to live and then there are the ones that live to eat. I have owned a few of the latter. Almost impossible to keep them in the weight condition you want. I have used lettuce spines, cooked green beans, slices of carrots for snacks. You could try adding something like this to his meals to fill him up more.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:55PM
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Well 2 meals a day for a dog is perfect. A lot of people feed their dogs only once a day. I agree with others here, a good quality dog food and also exercise. One, or better two walks a day would also help. As Quasifish, I give my dogs carrots, and also apples, brocoli. A lot of dogs would eat all the time :-). I have one like that.
She's beautiful!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I agree with dabunch. Have her Total T4 checked. Most standard blood panels don't include a TT4 unless it is specifically ordered by the vet. Also, have her checked for diabetes.

BTW, she looks fat to me.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Have you tried a grain free food?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:23PM
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I highly recommend (recipes on website also)"The Whole Pet Diet" by Andi Brown. It is written by the former founder/owner of Halo pet foods.It has lots of great nutritious recipes/treats and interesting stories about cats and dogs. I have been making "spot's chicken Stew" for 6 years(plus supplements/EFAs for my cat-she is like border collie, so alert.
The Nature Of Animal Healing by DVM Martin Goldstein is excellent also..
Maybe something happened when she was a puppy and is emotionally scared of food scarcity.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:25PM
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WOW ... I dont see where you think this dog is over wt. Looks healthy to me. She has a waist. and if she is outside and taking grain or what ever she is looking for something in her Diet she is not getting in the food you give her.

I have a pekapoo that is Over wt. but No matter what we do he does not lost the wt. I have cut his food in take in half. My vet tells me that he is just an older dog.

I wouldnt worry so much about if she is fat or not . but love her and giver her the care she needs.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:36PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I agree w/mountain lady, she doesn't look overweight at all, I can see her rib bones and she has a waist. Maybe you aren't feeding her enough, or a quality food?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:44PM
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This Bull dog is not fat at all and quite frankly I'm concerned for her safety! A bull dog is shaped this way, if you want a skinny dog, get a whippet!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 6:57PM
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