Does Diet Pet Food Work?

Discussion in Pets started by Hybridlullaby • Mar 20, 2015.

  1. Hybridlullaby

    HybridlullabyNew Member

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    I have a small Chihuahua mix dog, and she is severely over weight. She was adopted that way. It has started to bother her joints. She just seems to prefer laying about instead of playing or moving around even though we buy her toys and such. It is probably due to the fact that she is around ten years old.

    We decided to get her some expensive diet food from PetSmart, but I am not convinced that it is enough to help her or that it will even work. I give her baby aspirin as well, which I was told by the vet to do.

    Is there anything that could be bought to help her out? I am open to any ideas. She likes to take walks, but again, it hurts her joints where she is so big on such skinny legs. Once she loses the weight, I will take her out more and help her keep it off.
     
  2. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWenchActive Member

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    Well, it may have more to do with the amount you're feeding her as opposed to what you're feeding her. It's pretty easy to overfeed a Chihuahua I've noticed. Those of my friends that have one have bumped into this problem especially when open feeding is attempted. It seems like there's no off switch to the mouth or the tummy on those guys.
     
  3. Hybridlullaby

    HybridlullabyNew Member

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    She doesn't seem to eat too much. She waddles over maybe three or four times a day, and she is very timid about the food bowl. She is almost scared of it. She refuses to eat out of it. She would rather grab food and run off with it, two or three pieces at a time. They do leave a lot of food out, but there are two dogs that eat from it. Do you know of any other things that could be bought to help with weight loss?
     
  4. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyWell-Known Member

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    I don't know about how well the diet dog food works. I have seen it advertised; but never used any. However, any dog food with corn in it, especially as one of the main ingredients, is going to put weight on her, even of she only has a small amount of it. Also, corn is very inflammatory, and will cause her to have arthritis aches and not want to move around very much.
    Changing her to a protein food that does not have corn at all, and has meat as a main ingredient will probably help a lot , and also will be more of an anti-inflammatory food.
    I like Diamond Naturals. They are not one of the really expensive dog foods; but they are not just a cheap brand either. I have a six-lb Yorkie-poo, and he is 11 years old this year. Chipper does have some achey days, but mostly he is happy and scampers around and shows off like a puppy. The food that I get Chipper is called Diamond Naturals for small breeds, and the pieces are smaller than a pea, so it is very easy for him to bite and chew it, too.
    I buy it on Amazon in the six-lb bags so that it stays fresh.
     
  5. Hybridlullaby

    HybridlullabyNew Member

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    Oh, wow. Thanks for the recommendation. She has had some problems with bigger pieces of food in the past. She tends to just swallow food that is too big for her rather than trying to chew it. She is an odd little dog. I just find it weird that she used to be stick thin. She put all of her weight on all of a sudden. I will check out that food brand though. It sounds perfect for her.
     
  6. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

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    Expensive diet food would not help keep your pet in shape unless you let your pet go through a strict exercise regimen. Cesar Milan would advise pet owners to let their pets run outdoors if not the treadmill. Engaging in sporty activities like frisbee throwing will also help your pet reduce weight. Buying expensive diet food should only be an option.
     
  7. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyWell-Known Member

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    I think that exercise is not going to be much of an option as long as she is so much overweight, and has aches and pains in her joints. It sounds like she can barely walk, so there is no way that this elderly dog is going to be running around or chasing a frisbee.
    Chipper is no where nearly as active as he was when he was younger, but he does like to go outside when i go out, and he follows me around the yard when i am outside. Possibly, your little Chi mix might be able to start walking a little; but keep her close to the house at first, so she doesn't have to try and walk far if she is too crippled up to walk comfortably.
    I think that having the tiny kibbles might help her to eat the food easier, too, and then she would digest it better and get more of the nutrients from the food.
    I like to give Chipper cooked vegetables, and he really enjoys eating them, especially when I am hand-feeding him a bite of cooked carrot or zuchinni squash. He loves sweet potato, and that has a lot of vitamin A, which also helps joint pain.
     
  8. Feneth

    FenethActive Member

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    The main difference between diet food and regular food is that diet food has fewer kcal for the same volume of food. I second the recommendations on going with a food that is free of corn. Removing wheat and soy might not be a bad idea either. Tiny kibbles are also great.

    You can also stop free feeding and carefully portion out her food into meals. Weigh it on a kitchen or postal scale if possible. You sound like you're around to see her go to the food bowl multiple times a day. Instead of leaving it out, weigh a full day's food, then split into 3-5 portions. You can soak the kibble in water or chicken broth to soften it for her.

    For a dog that age that is overweight, in pain, and LITTLE anyway, I would agree with not starting long walks right away. Instead, I would encourage her to play more, like trying to get her to chase a ball in the living room, just a few times. Or I would practice some obedience work, stay and recall, calling her to me at random throughout the day if she's usually stationary except to get food or potty. Just a few extra times getting up may help.

    Did your vet recommend a glucosomine or combo supplement for her joints?
     
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