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Question
I have had dogs all my life   
 I now have a Brittany spaniel  7 years old and can't get her weight down   She is  not a hunting dog   But goes for walks every day    And  long walks at parks  nature    I only give her a hand full of dry dog food in the morning and not even a cup full of dry food at night.   She weights 44.8 pounds   she gained one half pound
since 2 moths ago     She is spayed does that make them gain weigh?
She is on weigh  lost food too.    expensive food too  She does want her treats at night though acts like she is starved too
I try to limit her on  treats.  But she does act like a boss over me   She gets mad and stomps her feet at me      She is a real sweet dog though and gets her feelings hurt easy     She is up to date on her blood work and  medicine too     Wish she could lose  some weight  to about 40  She  was 42 last year    Is it because she is getting older?     I had a springer to 14 years and she was only a little over weight
Johnny

Answer
HI Johnny,

Weight control is an issue with many people. It's tough to look at them while they are wanting more and more food. They can make it real hard to say no.

The spaying will probably have an impact on her metabolism and thus, cause her to gain a little.

There are a few things that dogs need to stay healthy and happy. First and foremost is lots of exercise. The walks are great but they tend to not get her heart rate up enough to really burn calories.

If she will play ball in off leash and get some running in, that would do her more good. If this is not possible, do you have a treadmill?

Many dog trainers use treadmills to really get good exercise in for dogs. We've used one for one of our dogs that was having weight issues.

You can start by standing over them and walk them on the treadmill very slowly with a leash. After a few times, you can up the speed and stand off to the side. You never want to tie her to the treadmill but stand beside her. Get her to jog at a pretty good clip and work up to a few miles.

If the treadmill is not possible, then maybe play dates at friends or a trainers facility or a doggy day care.

You have to get the exercise up to burn those calories.

The other method that's best to use in conjunction with exercise is the diet.

You mention that you feed her dry food both morning and night. Even if it is some kind of weight control food, it's tougher to loose weight on dry foods. There is just too many carbohydrates in them and that's what adds the pounds.

Many diet foods are very high in fiber and this is NOT good for her either. What this does is rush the food through her system without proper assimilation. This will make her malnourished in the long run.

No dog should ever be on a dry food only diet. Not even mostly dry. Adding water to dry food does not count either. Dogs are meat eaters and were designed to eat a high moisture diet.

Meats and veggies are very high in moisture and dry food has very little moisture. A dog on dry or mostly dry diet will actually live in a mild state of dehydration. This is hard on their internal organs, skin and coat and hard to get the weight off.

It's also the hardest food to digest because of this lack of moisture. It can take 12 hours to digest dry and only 3-4 for moist type foods.

Depending on your budget, she don't even need dry foods. You can feed her all canned and even add a few things. Some people do what's called a green bean diet. They add up to 10-15% green beans to their meals. This adds some fiber and moisture and gives them a little fuller feeling.

If you can, get her grain free foods. Of course canned grain free is best but if you continue dry, I would get her grain free types. Dogs just don't need grains and they can cause weight gain and inflammation. Older dogs just don't need inflammation.

The third thing you can do and the MOST important thing anyone can do for their dog or cat is to add enzymes and probiotics to each meal. This is VERY important and needs to be done on every meal.

Dogs get these vital nutrients naturally from raw foods or their natural prey model diet. We feed exclusively raw foods to our dogs and cats and we still add enzymes and probiotics to each meal as it's that important.

When you cook foods, you destroy these nutrients and the diet is incomplete. The lack of these two nutrients in dogs diets are the main reason why so many develop cancers, diabetes, pancreatitis, arthritis, become over weight and so on.

Fortunately they are very easy to add to her diet. A company called Animal Essentials makes a very good one we use that contains both enzymes and probiotics in one powder. You just sprinkle a little on each meal and they are covered.

A dog can be on the best of foods but if they do not get enzymes in their food they eat, their own body has to produce these enzymes to digest the food. This is called enzyme robbing and can tax her internal organs over time.

If they do not digest the foods far enough, most of the nutrients in that food will pass through there system. When this happens, they can become malnourished.

The probiotics flourish in the intestinal system and help fight off diseases and help transport nutrients into the blood stream.

To help her loose weight, live longer and remain healthier, get these in her diet as soon as you can. You can usually get these at the local natural dog food stores. Or online at Amazon or other sellers.

Of course the best diet for loosing weight and creating a healthy vibrant dog is the raw food diet. This is what nature intended our dogs to eat and thrive on.

There are commercially made raw food products that make feeding this style very easy to do. You wind up feeding much less as the absorb-ability of this diet is very high. More nutrients, high moisture, live nutrients equal better health.

So these are the key things we have done for our dogs and many of our customers dogs to help them loose weight. The more you can do of any of the above points, the better and faster she will loose the weight.

Get some good healthy natural treats like sweet potato type. These are low calories and dogs usually love them. Even cut up carrots, apples or other veggies are good low calorie treats.

It will also take a little tough love from you. I know it's very hard but it's the best for her.

But feeding a good high moisture diet will keep her more satisfied. The dry foods just don't do that. It takes them longer to digest them so they don't get a fuller feeling after eating it.

I hope this information helps and leads you into some good directions for her. If you should have any further questions or need clarification on any of these topics, feel free to just write back and I'll be happy to help clear things up.

If you do, let me know the brand name of any food she gets so I can look up the ingredients.

Roger

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Roger McLeskey

Expertise

Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.

Experience

I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

Organizations
We work with Second Chance Companions, Must Love Dogs, members of ASPCA, HSUSA and started our own personal "Red Head Rescue" (non chartered) for stray dogs and rescue dogs from high kill shelters. We've been able to heal the many health ailments these dogs have and place them in good homes.

Publications
Dog Food Decoded - How To Choose A Health Diet For Your Dog and Your Budget - Available on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback. Various articles for in store and web.

Education/Credentials
Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

Awards and Honors
None.

Past/Present Clients
Many satisfied pet owners coming to our store for nutritional help and advice.

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