Monday, October 5, 2009

Weight-loss Tips to Help Overweight Golden Retriever Trim Down

Dear Ariel,
I have a 3 year old Golden Retriever, Oliver. He weighs about 115 lbs. He is a very tall Golden. However, his weight troubles me. I want him to live a long and enjoyable life. for most of his young life he has eaten 1 can of Wellness Turkey and 1 can of the same in the evening. He is given a 8-12 in. 'bully stick' after dinner. He has a Greenie sometime during the day. His 'treats' are blueberries and raspberries and carrots. He does not eat a lot of these.
His exercise regimen includes an hour long brisk walk in a park. Sometimes, he gets 2 walks a day, but mostly just 1. He is the only dog I have. He'll romp with my cat during the day for a bit of time.
Because of my concern over his weight, I recently changed his diet to: 1 cup of lite dry Wellness and 1/2 can of Wellness turkey in the a.m. and 1/2 of dry and 1/2 of wet in the p.m. I haven't seen any significant change since doing this. However, I have not weighed him. He has had his thyroid checked in the past and it was normal.
Do you have any advice for me?

Hi Annette,

Good for you for trying to help Oliver! This is a commendable effort and you can definitely help him. I have seen miracle stories of dogs losing significant amounts of weight from concerned pet owners and I know you can do it! The first thing you do need to recognize is that while his food quantity may not seem like much to you, he has been substantially overfed. In order for him to weigh 115 pounds, this weight has accumulated over time from continual overfeeding. Yes, it is true that we can increase his metabolism using Vitality NOW! and Pet Liver Rescue but excess weight can only be eliminated by reducing his caloric intake and increasing his exercise. It is good that you are questioning what to do for Oliver, and ideally, I can assist you best in a telephone consultation where we can go into a lot more detail.

In terms of his overall consumption of food, you need to take a serious look at what other food items Oliver may be getting-- from other family members, going through the trash, jumping on counters, getting treats from neighbors and relatives. The first thing to do is for you to take control of the situation and honestly assess all the food that might be going into Oliver. When families do this, they often find that there are a lot of "missing links" they didn't anticipate such as improper measuring of the food or little treats that add up to full meals. Also, it is important to remember that while one dog may be able to eat 4 cups of food at 100 pounds, another one may have a much slower metabolism and only be able to eat 2 without gaining weight (just like with people!!!).

You need to be very careful about the treats. For example, bully sticks should be intended as an OCCASIONAL (not an every day) treat--1 12 inch bully stick is calorically the same amount as 3/4 can of dog food! And if you are giving him a greenie too, well that is also like another 1/2 meal.....One large dog biscuit can be over 100 calories!

Here is a diet you can try:
Oliver needs a high protein diet so that he feels satisfied. Try Natures Variety raw frozen venison or rabbit medallions. Give him 6 medallions twice a day along with 1/3 cup canned pumpkin + 1 cup steamed green beans or zucchinni per meal. You should also use 1 teaspoon Amazing Omegas per meal to help balance out his diet and to help his coat. Most overweight dogs and people are actually deficient in essential fatty acids (Omega 3s) and many Golden Retrievers have bad allergies. The Amazing Omegas has some calories but these calories are very important for his health and will help him stay on the diet.

You can give him 1 4-inch bully stick every few days and replace the treats with either 1-2 baby carrots or 1/4 sliced apple. No more greenies! Try the supplements mentioned above--Pet Liver Rescue and Vitality NOW! to help speed up his metabolism. They may seem like "supplements" but really, at this point with his weight, they are critical. Why? Because excess weight doesn't just affect his body collects around the organs as well. For example, Daisy, the 118 pound Labrador that Ariel Rescue trimmed down to 73 pounds was finally able to be spayed and when the veterinarian removed her uterus, he also removed 5 POUNDS of fat around it!!!! The Pet Liver Rescue will help clear toxins from his liver while the Vitality NOW! will help burn up the fat around his heart and other organs. If he weighs 115 pounds, chances are he is at least 20 -25 pounds overweight and has already accumulated fat around his organs.....

So, give these suggestions a try and if you need further assistance, please note in-person and telephone consultations are available to help you at: