Doggy Diets

A group blog for dogs that need to lose weight.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Feeding Your Dog

A dog is a man's best friend. You do everything you can to maintain your optimum health. Doesn't your best friend deserve the same? Your dog is an active (probably the most active!) member of your family and needs the same, if not more attention to health and nutrition as you do, to stay healthy and live longer.

Feeding your dog correctly doesn't need to be a full time job for you. All you need to do is use a little commonsense and have correct information about the breed and age of your dog.

Let's divide dogs into two categories - small & adult.

Small Dogs & Puppies

It has long been established and proven that small dogs have a different metabolism in comparison to large dogs, due to the physiological effect of their body mass. For example, areat Dane weighing 100 pounds needs to consume about 23 calories per pound of body weight. A Pomeranian weighing 6 pounds needs to consume 47 calories per pound of body weight every day - more than twice as much!

As the owner of a small dog, you need to be certain that your dog's energy needs are being satisfied. Be sure to choose a diet that's been formulated properly with an optimal balance of highly digestible nutrients. Digestibility determines how much your dog can actually utilize of each nutrient in a diet.

Puppies require almost twice or thrice as much food as adult dogs per pound of weight. To keep up their energy levels, they have to be fed as frequently as three to four times a day until they are six months of age.

Diet is always the key to raising your puppies. The diet should be balanced, nutrient rich, should contain high levels of phosphorous and calcium and be highly digestible. It should also contain high-quality proteins and should adhere to the Association of American Feed Control Officials' (AFFCO) procedures. This ensures that the puppy develops strong bones, muscle and tissue.

For Adult Dogs

Your dog needs a combination of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water in a balanced diet to meet their daily needs. A lot of dog food bags claim they are a complete food. This means nothing if the nutrients cannot be absorbed by your dog's system. Major companies take great care in this respect by trying to provide the nutrients in an absorbable form.

Dog foods must also consist of mineral and vitamin supplements in a balanced form. The proportions should be accurate so that they do not interfere with each other in your dog's system. This provides the maximum benefit to you dog. If the food consists of one ingredient in overdose and the other in a lower dose, it could have an adverse affect on your dog's health.

Given below are some feeding tips to make chow time more pleasant:

* Always keep the food dish clean.

* Feed adult dogs twice a day to prevent hogging at one single meal. This also lessens the chance of your deep chested dog developing bloat or stomach torsion.

* Your dog's feeding schedule should be relaxed so that your dog knows the approximate meal time but will not bother you if you are a little late.

* Keep people and other pets away from your dog while feeding, so that he does not get insecure and feel a need to defend his food.

* Never let your dog have free access to food, otherwise they have constant activity in their digestive systems.

* Make sure your dog sits to have his food, so there is less chance of food spilling all over the floor.

* Never let your dog play with his dish, teach him manners instead.

* Leave the dish for 15 minutes so that he licks it clean.

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To signup for 7 Dog Tips for free, check out Everything About Dogs Newsletter. Alternatively, check out the book "A Guide to Dog Training" at A Guide to Dog Training to learn more about training your dog.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dog Food - Are You Getting It Right?



Before the advent of ready made dog food, when humans first domesticated dogs, we fed them scraps from our meals. Those early dogs did just fine on that type of dog food. As our affection for dogs has grown over the centuries, so has our understanding of what our canine companions need to eat as food, to live long healthy lives. Research conducted by veterinarians and dog food manufacturers over the last decade have revealed more specific details about what a dog's diet should contain.

Your dog food must be appropriate for her size, age, state of health and activity level. As you stroll the isles of pet supply stores or grocery stores, you'll find a variety of dog food brands in a wide range of prices. A good basic rule of thumb is to buy the highest quality dog food you can afford. If you buy the cheapest food because you have a big dog that eats a lot, you must understand that what you save in food will affect your pet's health.

It is important that your dog always eats some dry dog food. The crunchy pieces help keep her teeth clean and her gums healthy, and provide necessary fiber. If you choose to give your dog moist dog food in addition to dry, use it sparingly; a small spoonful mixed with warm water makes a good gravy over dry kibble. Some devoted dog lovers feed their pets home-cooked food. Dog-specific recipes can be found on the Internet and in books, but understand that this is not just giving your dog leftovers from your own meals. Homemade dog food is designed to meet the nutritional and digestive needs of dogs. Spices, fats, and fillers in human food often makes dogs ill.

Adult dogs should be fed two meals each day. Puppies need to eat more often. They should be fed puppy food three to four meals daily until they are 12 weeks old, then three meals daily until they are six months old. Many dog trainers advise against leaving dog food or puppy food available all day, to prevent dogs developing picky eating habits. They suggest you allow 20 minutes for each meal. After this time, whatever has not been eaten should be picked up. Dry dog food can be held until the next meal, but moist food should be thrown away. It is very important to make sure your dog has plenty of clean water available at a all times.

The amount of dog food you feed your dog depends on her age, weight and activity level. Check the back of food or with your veterinarian to get an idea of how much your dog should be eating. Monitor your dog's weight by running your hands along the sides of her body. If she is at the right weight, you will be able to feel her ribs without pressing. If you can't feel her ribs, she is gaining weight and you should either slightly decrease the amount of food or increase the amount of exercise she gets. If you can easily see your dog's ribs, she is underweight (except in certain breeds).

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Article By Andrew Strachan. Find lots more information about different dog breeds and types of dogs at www.types-of-dogs.com. Help and advice is available too.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Poppy - Minus 6 kilos!

My mum and dad took me to the vet's yesterday and were very happy to discover that I've lost 6 whole kilos! Mum lost just as many during the two weeks she spent in hospital and is now a pathetic 68.4 (she's tall and now far too skinny to get comfortable cuddling up to), so I'm feeling a little ashamed that my weight isn't coming off faster. I mean, it's not as if I'm a couch potato who spends her days watching daytime TV and eating biscuits. Two small meals a day is all I'm given these days and if I've been good (and I nearly always am) one of those little crunchy sticks that come in different colours in the evening.

What wasn't so good about the visit to the vet's was having my glands emptied. Y'know, the finger up your bottom job! I'm no cry baby, but that vet's finger made me yelp! And Dad just stood there and let him do it! And Mum... well, I'm disappointed in her! She actually held me down while the finger went where fingers didn't ought to go. What did I do to deserve it?

Mum's been clicker training me recently. She had to break off for a while because she went into hospital (Dad explained all this to me and also told me that Mum had made it clear that he wasn't to continue with the training because he'd get it all wrong and confuse me) but now she's home, we did some last night. It's great fun because whenever I hear a click, I get a goodie! Only a very tiny one but hey, when you're on a diet, anything's good!

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Nutritional Needs of Senior Dogs

Nutritional needs change as a dog ages. Many breeds of dogs enter their senior years at 5-7. Like humans, as dogs’ age, their metabolism slows down. Obesity is one of the most common afflictions facing senior dogs. Stiff joints and muscles leave them wanting to run around less. As an owner of a senior dog, it is important to keep your dog exercising and it becomes more important than ever for your dog to get proper nutrition.

Quality dog foods will breakdown the specific ingredients. Read the label to make certain your dog is getting the best food for his needs.

In 100 grams of food there should be:

1.2 Grams of Fiber
0.55 Grams of Calcium
14 or Less Grams of Protein
9 or Less Grams of Fat
Less than 0.28 Grams of Sodium
Less than 0.33 Grams of Phosphorous

Vitamins also are important to the mature dog.

Vitamin B……………aids metabolism and appetite
Vitamin A……………aids muscles and eyes
Vitamin E…………….aids muscles and eyes

Shopping Tips for Dog Food from the Animal Protection Institute

Meat should be the first ingredient. The label should have the AAFCO Guarantee. Avoid if corn is listed two or more times in the top 5 ingredients. Check expiration date. Avoid foods with chemical preservatives like ethoxyquin, BHT, and BHA. Look for foods with natural preservatives such as tocopherols, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Avoid bone meal, meat meal and other by-product ingredients. Rice is the most digestible of all grains. If grain is in the formula, rice is a good choice.

As always, check with your veterinarian before changing diet and supplements. Your vet can often recommend a prescription dog food that will be just right for your pet’s changing needs. Keep your dog moving and eating right so you both can enjoy his senior years!

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Dave Eckholm is the owner and creator of http://www.olddogpaws.com, a site dedicated to the care and comfort of our old friends. As our dog Tikki began to lose his eyesight and became grey around his muzzle, we were concerned for his quality of life. As a senior dog, he started to have special needs. We searched for new ideas, resources and products to enhance his life. Old Dog Paws shares this information with all dog lovers so your friend can enjoy wonderful senior years too!
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Beck and Teds 2nd weigh in!

Well the extra vegetables must be doing the trick!We've both lost 1 whole lb in a fortnight!
Mum and Dad think this is brilliant.....And we both seem to be nipping about even faster than we normally do...We're going to keep up the good work, our only treat is a Winalot toothbrush chew , Dad buys them for us when he goes shopping .Mum cuts them in half because Dad can only get the ones for large dogs at our local supermarket...but hey!.... us little guys need to clean our teeth too :0)
We haven't had a photo taken because to be honest we've both got our winter coats on still and Mum said she doesn't think our weight loss will really show until we are clipped.....roll on the summer and we can wear our bikinis with pride!!! ;0)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Overweight Dog – Man’s Best Friend May be More Like Their Owners Than You Might Think

by Randi and Brett Jones

Obesity is one of the major health hazards and life shorteners of pet dogs. Its causes and effects are the same as with humans, and so is the cure. The majority of cases are due to excess calories, and not enough exercise, rather than a disorder. Dogs overeat for the same reasons we do, and more often because of boredom than hunger. When a dog is given little mental and physical activity, mealtime becomes the high point of his day.

Like humans, the dog may transfer his craving for affection into compulsive gluttony. A healthy dog who leads a well-balanced life, complete with affection and companionship is s seldom overweight. Some breeds are prone to overeating due to their keen sense of smell, or from being over fed because they are inside dogs. Puppies gain pounds rapidly during their growth period, but once an adult dog has reached his ideal weight, you should try to keep it stable by weighing him at least once a month.

It’s a simple matter to shed a few pounds by putting your dog on a diet for a week or so. By increasing the proportion of vegetables maintaining the normal level of protein, and reducing the fat and starch, the excess weight can be shed fast and safely. But never completely eliminate any of the basic nutritional elements.

Once obesity sets in, the problem is much more difficult and the cure more painful. Until the dog has formed new eating habits, you must resist the temptation to give in and overfeed. Make it up to him by giving him more activity, distraction and affection. If you must give in, you can reward with a dog biscuit, a raw carrot, an apple, or a bone. With time and patience your dog will be slimmer and healthier in no time.

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Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed a website where customers can read articles about anything pets as well as shop for the latest trendy items for their best friend. Feel free to check out the site at JoncoPets.com

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Poppy - Disappointed

It's 6 days since last time I posted and guess what? I still haven't lost any weight!

Now, you may think that 2 kilos, or 4.4 pounds, isn't much to lose, but when you consider that it's 18% of my bodyweight, I'm actually grossly overweight. Obsese! It's like you weighing 90 kilos and needing to lose 20! I hate to think what my BMI might be!

I promise I haven't eaten anything I didn't ought to eat. I would if I could, but nobody has given me as much as a scrap, no matter how much I give them my best "starved dog" look. I know they're doing it for my best, but it's hard to take sometimes when they're stuffing themselves with all sorts of tasty morsels right under my nose! Cheese, pizza, corned beef, meatballs with gravy... oh just the thought of it all!

Anyway, I'd like to welcome Ted and Becks to "Doggy Diets". Don't you think Becks looks like me? We're the same "breed" y'see (Jack Russell x Lakeland Terrier). I'm not sure what Ted is but he's a handsome looking woof. Hi, Ted (wink, wink).

Wish me luck on my next weight in, will you? I'm off for a jog with Daddy human now.

PS: Please excuse any typos - I am but a dog with nails that need clipping!

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ted and Becks weigh in!

Ted and Becks - dogs in need of a dietHi Poppy and Sharon!
Well we finally gave in and let Dad weigh us.......we're not that upset with our weight because Mum said she thinks we are only just a little bit over weight.....in fact she wishes she only had as much weight to loose :0)
Teddies start weight is 23lbs so we think he could maybe loose 4lbs he is the larger of the two because he's taller and longer.
Becks start weight is 19lbs so maybe she could loose a couple of pounds....she is 12 years old and it will be harder to restrict her because she'll steal anything and everything she can get her gnashers into....and with 2 teenage sons in the house they've got 2 VERY best friends so Rob and Sam will have to keep their crisps and sweets out of reach!(mind you they don't have that many themselves ;0) )

We've had lots of vegetables tonight with our dinner because Mum cooked extra especially for us! We didn't have a biscuit for our afters tonight and quite frankly we stamped our feet! But we'd been to the park with our Dad for a big run around and we slept right through the night so our tummies didn't rumble that much :0)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Poppy - Still Fat!

Hello - Poppy here!

I had my weigh-in yesterday and hadn't lost anything!

I'm not too worried because the vet told my humans that the during first few weeks after the food supply decreases, the body will think that famine's on its way and start storing fat. It isn't until the body needs to start using that fat in order to survive that weight loss occurs so I'm keeping my toes crosses that this is the reason for my continued chubbiness.

Another possibility is that I might have developed more muscle because Dad runs with me in the evening when we go for our walk. I've heard him telling Mum that he can slide 3 fingers inside my collar now as opposed to the 2 he could get in there before, so that must be a good sign, eh?

Life's pretty miserable without titbits, though. I keep giving the humans my best "Poor me, I'm terribly hungry" look but it doesn't work anymore. Not even on Mum. When she's working in the bedroom, I sit by the bed patiently waiting for a little crumb of a sandwich or something to be offered, but nothing's ever forthcoming. What a miserable lot they've turned into!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Poppy

Poppy - dieting dog wearing Santa hatPoppy is a seven year old Lakeland/Jack Russell cross weighing 9 kilos. Her goal is to lose 2 kilos by summer after receiving a "talking to" by the vet during her annual visit for vacinations and a check-up.

So far her weigh-in record is as follows:

December 2nd - 9 kgs
December 16th- 8.8 kgs

A better picture showing her body shape will be posted in due course :)

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