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Shedding weight - how quickly?

July 3rd, 2011, 01:34 PM
I am adopting a 6 year old APBT in a couple weeks and she is very overweight; obese. I believe she has been overweight for several years, as many as 4 years. She is 90 lbs now, and should be 75-80lbs. Kind of hard to judge numbers, but I think that's about how much she needs to lose. She is fat enough that she can't turn her head real well and her flesh feels fatty like a Pot Bellied Pig. She actually looks like a Pot Bellied Pig.

I plan to exercise her playing ball, and going for walks etc to get her fit. I feel confident I can do that safely, but I'm not sure how much to cut her food by (she's free fed now) as I believe it is harmful to lose weight too fast. So how much should I cut back? How long should I aim to take to get her to a good weight?

I am getting all her vet records, so I will check to see if there is a recent blood panel to check for thyroid problems or other issues associated with the obesity. If not, I will get a panel done.


July 4th, 2011, 12:02 AM
Is she currently housed alone or with other dogs? If alone is there any way you can ask them to just measure how much she is eating per day now to see the amount? Measure what goes in the bowl in the morning & subtract what is left the next morning the value left was what she ate in that 24 hr period.

It would make it easier to know how much she's actually eating right now, you can then slowly decrease that amount while slowly increasing the excercise she's getting.

Part of it also depends on what she is currently eating vs what you plan to feed her, as you know when feeding the higher quality foods you are going to be giving less because of less fillers & higher good calories.

Congrats on the soon to be adoption :highfive:

July 4th, 2011, 10:35 AM
Thanks! We are very excited to bring her home. =]

She lives with 4 little dogs that are all free fed in one bowl. I suppose I could free feed her for a week to see how much she is eating. I don't want to bother the family with too many questions, they are having a hard time letting her go as it is. Plus, she is being re-homed through a rescue so asking her family a question isn't as easy as simply sending an email!

She is currently eating Iams. I don't want to change her diet for the first couple weeks at all. I think with all the stress she is going to have that an upset tummy is the last thing she needs. Once she settles in I will add pre/probiotics and switch her to two meals a day of Orijen kibble. Once she has taken to Orijen I want to switch one meal to Urban Carnivore (frozen raw, whole carcass diet). I will add in Salmon Oil and canned green tripe at some point too.

I know switching off Iams to a grain-free diet in and of itself will lean her out by removing much of the processed carbohydrates. Hey, at least by eating Iams I know she doesn't have any allergies! :p

I don't think I'm going to have any troubles with the diet itself, I'm just not sure if I should take 6 weeks to drop the weight or 6 months? Or even longer maybe?

July 4th, 2011, 11:11 PM
Ah okay, I wasn't sure if she was already in a foster home or not, in this case I think free feeding for a week or two to start and seeing how much she eats is a good idea. Moving to a new house/family is going to be a big enough change already without adding confusion as to why there's not always food in the bowl anymore :dog: It may take her a while to get used to being meal fed.

When you do start changing food, adding supplements etc be sure to only change/add one thing at a time & at least a week apart to get her system used to the changes. This way as well if she happens to react to something it's easier to tell which one it was.

I'm sure you already know :), but for others reading who may not, the food change schedule can be adjusted to smaller increments/longer time frame as needed.

In general:
Week 1-2 1/4 new 3/4 old
Week 3-4 1/2 new 1/2 old
Week 4-5 3/4 new 1/4 old
Week 6 -7 all new

In general you want to aim to loose 1-2% body weight per week, small increments over a longer period of time is much healthier & easier on the heart, joints etc and will help to keep the weight off.

She has no idea what a wonderful home is waiting for her, but she will soon :D

July 5th, 2011, 03:06 AM
Aw, thanks Growler! I have some mixed feelings...I feel really bad for her and her family that they have to be split up, but I am also excited to welcome her in and I know that I can provide her with a really good home for the rest of her life.

I will definitely take diet changes very slowly. I know how resistant the body can be to changes, even if they are for the good! I am also very careful to just make one change at a time, mostly to watch for reactions but also because I snoopy to see the difference! :D

I will be most cautious of exercise because she is obese, but also because she is an APBT, and I know from experience that they will keep going to the point of self-injury if they think that's what their people want them to do!

Well, I was thinking 1 lb per week for weight loss so I guess I'm on the right track then. Thanks again!

July 5th, 2011, 11:43 PM
Sounds like you've got a good plan already in mind :D

If there is any place you can take her swimming (if she'll swim, that is :dog:) that will be a great low impact exercise for her that is easy on the joints etc