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Discussion Starter #1
Sonia is currently at 80lbs, but should be in the 65-70 lbs range. She goes on a walk 1-1.5 miles per day, but is otherwise a porch hound.

How many Kcals should I be feeding daily to help her lose the weight at a healthy rate?
 

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That really depends on a lot of factors. Age, breed, activity level, temperature... I don't set a number of kcals when I do anything. I feed what works for that dog. (And it really varies a lot for my Shiba.)

My Mom's dog Sasha went from getting "1 large drinking cup" which was actually 3 cups to just 1 1/2 cup per day with increased exercise. She dropped the 20 extra pounds she'd accumulated over the years (took a couple months) and hasn't gained any since. She now gets about 1 1/2 - 1 2/3rd cups a day. Juneau, Sasha's littermate, gets 2 cups a day. They are the same mix, same age (sisters, so duh on that one) but they get different amounts of food.
Also, the kcals vary in each type of food. I feed the Girls Taste of the Wild and rotate through all the formulas, but each dog still gets the same amount despite the slight difference in kcals. If I went from feeding Taste of the Wild to EVO then I'd cut their portions a bit, but I do not get hung up on the calories per cup and instead feed whatever works for that individual dog.
 

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As Losech said the caloric needs of each dog is HUGELY different, and is different for that same dog on different foods even.

I would suggest cutting back on what she is being fed(I would feed her 3/4th of what she is currently getting) and up her exercise(since 10-15lbs is quite a bit to loose.)
Of course reevaluating what she is being fed is also a good thing, what brand of food? What/how much in treats/scraps/etc?
 

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Of course reevaluating what she is being fed is also a good thing, what brand of food? What/how much in treats/scraps/etc?
+1

Second this. Going from a low to medium quality food with lots of simple carbohydrate products to a high quality food with more animal sources and/or moderate to low amounts of better (whole, complex) carbohydrate products can make a big difference.
 

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That really depends on a lot of factors. Age, breed, activity level, temperature... I don't set a number of kcals when I do anything. I feed what works for that dog. (And it really varies a lot for my Shiba.)
Sonia is a 5 year old Catahoula cur. Like I said, she is pretty much a porch hound. We've started nightly walks between 1-1.5 miles. We live in FL, so Hot is the temperature most of the year. We're in the low to mid 80's during the day now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would suggest cutting back on what she is being fed(I would feed her 3/4th of what she is currently getting) and up her exercise(since 10-15lbs is quite a bit to loose.)
Of course reevaluating what she is being fed is also a good thing, what brand of food? What/how much in treats/scraps/etc?
I am transitioning her between foods right now, which is why I thought it would be a good time to ask. I was feeding her Wellness Simple Solutions (mostly duck formula). On that she was eating 1 cup of kibble and 1 12 oz can wet food per day, split into 2 servings. Wellness has recently changed it's formula to include ingredients Sonia is allergic to, so we have to change food.

I am now hoping to feed her Great Life Salmon formula mixed with someTtripett Lamb Tripe for extra flavor. I've also started supplementing her with Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes, so having wet food to mix the powders in with is a bonus.

Sonia doesn't get any scraps...too many allergies. She probably gets 1-5 treats per day depending. Her treats right now are Science Diet Hypoallergenic dog biscuits and Sweet Potato Strips (forgot the brand name).
 

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What are the items she is allergic to?

I'd cut out the treats all together. They don't really need treats, its more for us then for them. Plus it can be surprising how much one little treat can account for. I've had people say "But he only gets a handful of milk bones a day" Yes but one milk bone for a 60lb dog is like us eating one snickers bar. Sit down and eat 5 snickers every day and see where that gets you. Even something like a pig ear is like us drinking 6 12oz cokes for a medium sized dog. That's crazy.

What Great Life formula is it grain inclusive or grain free? How much is she getting a day?

What kind of walk is this? Is it a "stop and sniff the flowers" type walk or is it all business power walk? How long does it take you to walk that mile. Honestly a dog that size should be doing at least 3 miles a day to be of any help. Also if she'll do anything like swim, chase a ball, play with other dogs etc that would be great too. Walks are different then actually play, swimming is excellent to help with weight loss without the stress on the joints.
 
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
What are the items she is allergic to?

What Great Life formula is it grain inclusive or grain free? How much is she getting a day?

What kind of walk is this?
She is allergic to corn, soy, oatmeal, white potato, pork, peas, and carrots.

I picked up the Great Life Grain Free Salmon. I literally just started her on it. Today is the first day she is completely weaned from her old food. Since I really hadn't gotten an answer on here or from my vet yet (who I called yesterday), I figured I would start with the feeding guidelines of 2 cups/day. Add that to the Lamb Tripe and her Kcals will be just under 1000 today.

When we go walking it takes between 25-30 minutes to complete the 1-1.5 miles. I always use the pedometer app on my phone so I can track our stats. I walk at a brisk pace, but Sonia is on a 5 meter leash so she has the ability to run ahead and sniff around. I would say it's in between a leisure walk and an all business walk.

The walks are fairly recent. Maybe the past 6 weeks. She will chase the horses, but we discourage that. Also, she jumps in the pond but usually to cool off. She's not a big swimmer. I try to get her to play fetch, but she usually only retrieves 2 or 3 times and then decides she wants to do something else...LOL


I will up her walking distance and try to get more play time out of her. I know the Kcals isn't an exact science and is different for every dog, but I have to start somewhere.
 

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Just suggestions from my personal experience and opinion. :)

I'd either get a 6ft leash or shorten the current leash to 6ft. 5 meters is far too long and gives her too much room with no steady pace. There is a huge difference in just going fora walk and going for a calorie burning working walk. At this point she is getting very little benefit from this exercise due to the instake of calories (not counting treats), speed of the walk and type of walk.

I'd say the target goal on these walks is to do at least 3 miles a day and finish each mile within 14 - 16 minutes (if you can do it faster excellent). Of course you don't need to do that right off the bat, you gradually work up to that. This is were your dog is likely to get benefits from the walk. Something I used to do was count my steps per minute. If I'm working hard my dog generally is too. They say the ideal amount of steps in a minute for you is 140.

Using her current weight of 80lbs if you guys walk 1 mile in the target area of 14 - 16 minutes Sonia will only burn 64 calories. At 3 miles she'd be burning 194 calories approx. So the longer, the faster the better but this is something that obviously needs to be worked up to, don't just jump right in. Gradually work up to that (or more). You can vary the speeds as well, say do 15 minutes of brisk walking followed by 10 minutes of leisure walking. Hills and stairs will be your new friends. I suggest tracking everything, what the dogs eats/how many calories, treats/their calories and how many minutes of exercise for each day.

I'm a little concerned with the fat content. The general rule is that anything over 12 percent fat is too high for weight loss. It's almost 46% carbs I'd like to see something a little lower in the carb department.

Also the ideal for a dog in her case is about 1024 calories per day for a healthy weight loss. So your not that far off with the calories/day she's getting.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I'm a little concerned with the fat content. The general rule is that anything over 12 percent fat is too high for weight loss. It's almost 46% carbs I'd like to see something a little lower in the carb department.
Do you have any possible food suggestions based on her allergies and need to lose weight?

I had her tested a year and a half ago, so this has been a long work-in-progress to find what works best for her. Of course my vet wanted to put her on a hypoallergenic diet (Hills, Royal Canin, Purina), but I didn't want to settle for that. I found the Wellness, which worked good for about a year until they changed their formulas. My only complaint about that was they have ingredients sourced out of China.

Now I'm on the hunt again and Great Life seemed like a good choice... Even if it's not ideal, do you think if we put enough effort into it Sonia can still lose weight on this food?
 

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Im not all that familiar with that food...so I wont comment other then to say that everything LBJ has said is spot on! :smile:

Exercise needs to be at a steady pace and for a longer distance, as LBJ has suggested.

HOWEVER I will say that the "suggested guide lines" on the bag(any bag) are 99% of the time WAY too much food...let alone with something topping it. I would cut that in half if your going to add the topper.
 
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HOWEVER I will say that the "suggested guide lines" on the bag(any bag) are 99% of the time WAY too much food...let alone with something topping it. I would cut that in half if your going to add the topper.
I appreciate all the advise, but now I'm a bit confused... You said to cut my feeding to be half the recommended guidelines. If I do that Sonia will only be getting 780 kcals per day. That includes the kibble and the topper.

But... LBJ suggested I start at 1024 Kcals per day.

I did mispeak earlier. I only gave Sonia 3/4 the recommended feeding guideline, so that is what added up to almost 1000 kcals per day.

Would 250 kcals make that big of a difference. I know I still need to add the kcals of treats to this...or stop giving her treats all together.
 

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As I said before I dont go by calories since each dog is different in their caloric needs and each food effects each dog differently.
I always, when I fed kibble or when Im helping friends/family with kibble, start dogs out on 1/2 of the suggest amounts on the bag and then go from there after at least a couple weeks.
With adding the topper your feeding the same if not more then what is suggested, the bag suggests between 1-2 cups for a dog that is between 50-75 pounds(and her ideal weight is what you need to be feeding her for) that is between 442 and 884 kcals according to their Analysis. So I would be feeding her, if I were you, 1cup of food plus the topper.

Like I said, thats me, and what I would do in your situation given the foods that you are looking at.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
So I would be feeding her, if I were you, 1cup of food plus the topper.

Like I said, thats me, and what I would do in your situation given the foods that you are looking at.
Thanks for all the help. I just wanted to make sure I was understanding correctly. I don't want to do something just because someone tells me to. I want to know AND understand the reasoning behind it.

Game plan:

A) 1 cup kibble + 1 can topper (5.5oz) = 778.6 kcals
B) Reduced treat intake (need to get stats on treats to know where I'm at)
C) MORE exercise, but built up over time

Goal:

A) Keep allergies under control
B) Lose weight (10-15 lbs)
 

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Thanks for all the help. I just wanted to make sure I was understanding correctly. I don't want to do something just because someone tells me to. I want to know AND understand the reasoning behind it.

Game plan:

A) 1 cup kibble + 1 can topper (5.5oz) = 778.6 kcals
B) Reduced treat intake (need to get stats on treats to know where I'm at)
C) MORE exercise, but built up over time

Goal:

A) Keep allergies under control
B) Lose weight (10-15 lbs)
Sounds like a plan. I would suggest making your own treats and/or getting meat only ones. Ditch the SD ones for sure(yuck)...and the sweet potato ones are just fillers with too much sugar! :wink:

You can easily dehydrate meat(if you have a dehydrator perfect, if not you can do so in your oven, thin sliced and oven all the way on low for many hours) or boil some meat up, in good sized pieces, lay out on a cookie sheet and freeze till solid, then put into a baggie or tupperwear and keep in the freezer until its treat time! :thumb: The boiled ones is how I do my training treats(cut into little itty bitty nubs) and how I make treats for one of my friends(finger-ling sized) for her to give her dogs when she is leaving for work! :wink:
 

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The only thing I worry with just cutting back on food to loose weight is if you cut down the portion size you cut down on the nutrients the dog needs. They need a certain amount of calories to safely loose weight and remain healthy to be active.

I'd try her on the current food, if you keep the exercise up it may work. For sure I can't say. California Naturals Low Fat Lamb and Rice might be an option. I usually suggest Acana Light + Fit or Core Reduced Fat but it doesn't work with her allergies.
 
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I'd try her on the current food, if you keep the exercise up it may work. For sure I can't say. California Naturals Low Fat Lamb and Rice might be an option. I usually suggest Acana Light + Fit or Core Reduced Fat but it doesn't work with her allergies.
I'm going to give the Great Life Salmon formula a good try. My vet always suggest 3 month trials to confirm any possible allergic reactions. I will be monitoring her weight carefully to ensure she doesn't drop it too quickly and we will slowly build up the exercise level.

I know I will have to adjust her food intake and exercise, but I needed somewhere to start. And this forum is such a great place to find a good start. :love:
 
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