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I have an 11 year old Doberman. She is spayed and basically healthy. She has a tendancy to be on the heavy side and especially as she's aged and become less active. I know it's important to keep her on a diet designed for seniors but I'm having a hard time finding something that also is designed to keep her weight down. I feel like I'm starving her (she gets about 3/4 of a cup 2x a day and she's an ideally 85 lb dog) and I'd like to give her something more appropriate. She has been on Science Diet active longevity (dry) for about 6 months and before that she was on the mature adult large breed. I struggle with all the choices because I don't know what is most important as far as senior, diet or large breed formulas. I haven't been terribly impressed with the Science Diet but it did seem to do better than the others I tried. Anyway I'm at a loss so any help would be great so I I'm not just doing trial and error constantly! Thanks!

~Anna & Cloudy
 

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Puppy, adult, senior are all marketing gimicks. There is basically no difference between these foods. Certanly nothing of any consequence. Science Diet is among the lowest of low quality dog foods. It has very low quality ingredients.

There are basically 2 ways to get your dog to lose weight. Feed less and exercise more. An 11 year old doberman should not be too old for some good exercise. There is no other magic formula for losing weight. It would be cool if there were though. :smile:
 

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Senior dog food is lower in calories than regular adult food.

Diet food is also lower in calories than a regular maintenance diet.

So a senior diet food is going to be the lowest calorie food out on the market.

What makes diet and senior foods low in calories? Lots of junk fillers to "bulk up" the food to make the dog think he is getting more food, but not as calorie dense.

What I suggest you do is find a good high quality kibble that has a lot of appropriate ingredients and just feed less of it. It will be better in the long run for your dog!
 

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i agree with everything that was said. i think (as kibbles go) the higher protein grain free diets are well suited for seniors. many of the so called senior diets are lower in protein. you want to help maintain muscle mass and a higher protein food will help there as will regular exercise. ive seen the elimination of grains be particularly helpful to two arthritic senior dogs ive had (as grains can exacerbate innflammation).
 

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The main difference between senior and regular food is that its generally lower in fat, and therefore in protein, aka less meat. Especially since youre feeding SD, theres no meat to begin with so your dog will have even a harder time staying fit because once the body goes into the starvation mode, the metabolism slows way down to conserve energy.

My best advise to you is to feed good quality food thats not for seniors, higher protein/low carb is the best. Also more meat= more omega 3's which help to lubricate the joints and relieve arthritis, which in return help to keep your dog more active.

My reccomendation is Wellness Core Reduced Fat. I've had really good results with it after my dog put on few lbs. Its moderate protein 34% and lower fat.

I also noticed that ammount of food you posted, I think 3/4 of a cup for 85 lb dog is too little (my 60 lb dog eats that much). It would help if you could post some pictures so I could get a better idea of dogs body condition.
 

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My friend changed her 12yo pug from some prescription diet/senior kibble to Orijen a couple of months ago. Honestly, she had the exact same concerns you do but I bought her a bag and managed to persuade her to give it a go. Those concerns all turned out to be nothing. Her dog isn't begging for more food, I guess the increased protein fills him up more than the fillers in the other food. He's lost weight and his coat is just beautiful, glossy black, enough for others to comment on. And, she keeps bringing up how hard & small his poops are now, I think that's what bowled her over the most. Now she's saying she'd never go back. And, its no more expensive than what she was feeding in the first place. Win win all the way round.
 
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