- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Fat content in dog food

March 9th, 2006, 10:53 AM
I have a 9 year old Shih Tzu and she does a lot of sleeping during the day but every morning we walk a good 8 blocks, when the weather is nice we go again in the late afternoon. I adopted this little dog 9 months ago. She belonged to an elderly lady with alzheimers who had to go into a nursing home. She had no one to take this little dog so I did. I can see she is getting chunkier than she was before and was wondering if I should be looking for a dog food with a low fat content. Right now she is on Solid Gold and I believe it is between 12 & 14%, the protein is around 22%. She weighed 10 lbs when I got her and I think she weighs 12 lbs now. Should she be on senior food? She is a small dog and I don't want her to have any health problems because of her weight. If anyone can give me any suggestions I would appreciate it.

Lucky Rescue
March 9th, 2006, 11:07 AM
Well it depends on if she's at a healthy weight now. Was she underweight when you got her? Someone with Alzheimer's may have forgotten to feed her.

Is she fat? Can you easily feel her ribs when you run your hands along her flanks? If you can't, maybe you're overfeeding her?

If she is fat and you can't feel ribs, maybe cut down her portions a bit.

Thank you for adopting an older pet!!:thumbs up

March 9th, 2006, 11:43 AM
I think before switching foods, you should think about walking her more and playing with her more. Diet food might make her skinnier, but it certainly won't make her healthier nor more fit. Eight blocks isn't enough, especially if it's once a day. She needs some playing too. Some interactive exercise.

March 9th, 2006, 12:14 PM
here is some valuable eye-opening info on this subject... source:

So, your pet is overweight. How did that happen anyway? There is really no mystery here. Too many calories, too little activity. Wait! The fix is right here in the bag marked, "Lite and Fit". Right? Doubtful at best. Since the advent of these "Lite" diets, has there been a decrease in the number of overweight pets? Hmmmm... These are major profit centers for the makers. They contain less meat and fat (the costlier) ingredients and more (much) of the grains and fillers to reduce the number of calories. Then, guess what? You get to pay more! Guess what again? Your pet won't lose weight! Fact is, your pet will feel even less like moving around with a belly full of chaff than formerly with another diet. Don't buy into this ruse. It is much better to feed a good food in the amount sufficient to provide the calories for the desired body weight and to INCREASE the activity level by 300%. You've heard it said, "Diet without exercise doesn't work". That's true for pets as well.
:thumbs up

Lucky Rescue
March 9th, 2006, 12:34 PM
Wait! The fix is right here in the bag marked, "Lite and Fit". Right? Doubtful at best. Since the advent of these "Lite" diets, has there been a decrease in the number of overweight pets? Hmmmm... These are major profit centers for the makers.

I couldn't agree more!

But hey - if people believe that "Cortislim" is going to make THEM lose weight with no effort, they'll believe anything!:p

March 10th, 2006, 11:00 AM
I would not drop the fat and protien any lower, Canine nutrition research shows that older dogs require more protein than do younger adults, because aging stresses the system and the protein is needed for cellular repair.

I have been thru the hoops dealing with obesity in one of my greyhounds and have rudely had people tell me to get him on a diet, meanwhile I had tried cutting back his food from 4 cups down to 1 1/2, changing foods to very low fat and protien, and my almost 90 lb greyhound was down to eating 1 1/2 cups @ less than 600 calories per day and he was still gaining 1 lb a month,(in comparison my female grey 70 lbs was eating 4 cups @ 1700 calories a day) and I was beating my head against the wall in frustration, and all vets and other people kept telling me was reduce diet and increase exercise which I was already doing.

For a 9 year old shih tzu, an 8 block walk is probably plenty, it could be you are feeding too much or it could be because of some other cause.

Shih tzu's are proned to thyroid disease so may be worth checking, there are a lot of symptoms and it can vary a lot from one dog to another, some will have a lot of symptoms and some will only have one 88% will have skin problems, this can include ears, 40% have areas of hairloss, 49% will be obese, 48% are lethargic, 36% are anemic.
A thyroid blood panel is the way to test, and treatment itself is lifelong you need to give a thyroid supplement 2x a day and it is very inexpensive. It can cause all sorts of health problem if left untreated.

With my greyhound I did rule out hypothyroidism as the cause, so later on the vet noticed his abdomen was taking on an odd shape, so xrays were done, his spleen has grown to several times the normal size, several tests were done to rule out diease or cancer, in his case it is something called hyperspleenism which causes it to continue growing, so for now we monitor and will remove if it's mass starts affecting other organs or digestion.
THis explained maybe 5 or 6 pounds but still not all that he put on. Someone suggested that grains maybe resulting in the weight and I should trying feed raw or a grain free diet, I had my doubts but figured I had nothing to lose, so I put him on Innova EVO at the same 1 1/2 cups a day and started taking him to the vet weekly for weigh ins as the calories in this food was much higher. For the first time in 3 years his weight started dropping, I continues taking him for weighins weekly for 2 months expecting it to be a fluke but sure enough his weight continued to drop. He is not the skinny minny he should be, but he sure looks a lot better than he did 8 months ago. If it ever becomes necessary to drop the protien and fat content since EVO is quite high, I will then try one of the grain free Natural Balance formulas.

I hope this helps because there is very little info out there about unexplained weight gain especially when it continies despite cutting back food

March 10th, 2006, 01:27 PM
You are absolutely right you can't lose weight without exercise. Maybe I am concerned for nothing I will see what the vet says when we visit. My Bichon is slim and, of course, but this little Shih Tzu has a different shape, bulky in the front and slimmer hips. I had been feeding her Innova Evo and I thought perhaps that was putting weight on her because of the high fat content but the above post says his dog lost weight. I was feeding 3/4 c a day as the pkg says for her weight so I have cut that down to 1/2 with a little canned mixed in. Eight blocks is enough for her little legs but we will do that twice a day now that the weather is better. I was truly blessed when this little dog moved in with me she is the sweetest and I don't want to do anything that would cause her to have health problems. I like what you said about the lite dog food "Technodoll". Makes sense to me. Great forum. I'm learning as I go.

March 10th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Every dog is different. While one dog might lose weight on a high protein diet, another may gain substantial weight too. Personally, I don't like Evo, but if you like it and your dog is doing well on it, it's up to you.

March 11th, 2006, 05:57 AM
Before you do anything like changing her food check with your vet to see if she is the right weight. Personally I never feed what is recommended on the bag of food. The amounts are often way too much for a normally active dog.
If she is indeed overweight try decreasing the amount slowly and if she is acting hungry give her some carrot sticks. Normally I feed about 2 cups of day of Solid Gold to each of my dogs. Hunter is larger so he gets a bit more. If they are extremely active like on weekends I do increase the amounts.

March 11th, 2006, 06:47 PM
Solid Gold is grain-heavy food. It's not the fat content you have to worry about with overweight dogs- it's all of the grains in the food that make them fat. Definitely get the thyroid checked and up the exercise, but if you consider changing food, go to one with less grains, not less fat.

I would try Timberwolf Organics- they have the lowest grain content you can find in a kibble and the grains are whole. The Bison or elk formulas are best.

I'm not a fan of all of the "grain free" formulas out there- they're full of high-glycemic white potato or tapioca- not the best thing for weight loss!
The ideal diet would be a natural raw diet, but the Timberwolf Organics should suffice if you want to use a kibble...

March 11th, 2006, 08:38 PM
Timberwolf Organics is very hard to find unless you live near the one or two stores in all of Canada (they're all in BC, too).

March 11th, 2006, 09:14 PM
They sell it at now, too. I don't know if that helps or not...
You are in Canada? I didn't realize that!
Oh geez, now I see the big Canadian flag under your post!!...AND the part that says "location"...

March 11th, 2006, 10:08 PM
Yeah for B.C. - - we usually don`t have access to stuff that`s good. It`s not available where I live....Castlegar, B.C.- a beautiful part of our province, I`d like to add, if you ever want to visit B.C.!!! :thumbs up

One of the groomers here is looking into bringing it in, but from what I`ve heard, I think it will probably be too expensive for my budget.:sad:

March 12th, 2006, 12:00 AM
You are in Canada? I didn't realize that!
Oh geez, now I see the big Canadian flag under your post!!...AND the part that says "location"...
LOL A lot of the people here are from Canada... :D The ".ca" part of means Canada too. But it's ok, the www part adds the rest of the world in there.;)