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Old 05-16-2010, 05:04 PM  
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Smile Meet Cocoa- the overweight Chihuahua and his weight journey!

Well. I don't think I've ever posted pictures of the cats or Cocoa. So I thought today, I'd post some and let you all in on Cocoa's journey to lose weight! Now, believe it or not, he's a registered Chihuahua, until he weighed *drum roll* 21 LBS! I know this is horrible, and that's why we're putting him on a diet. He's five years old, and my baby, except for the horses of course! Without me chatting anymore, meet Cocoa:





The pictures aren't the best, but I'll get new ones when I can take him outside and get some good ones. How long should I wait before I post pictures again? I hope you enjoy the weight journey!
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:09 PM  
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Oh boy someone over indulged :P But look at that face. So, what is your plan of attack for weight lose?
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:47 PM  
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He is adorable! My Chi gets nothing but dry dog food, and he is still overweight, it is just his body type.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:45 PM  
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Oh boy someone over indulged :P But look at that face. So, what is your plan of attack for weight lose?
My plan is to gradually walk more and more once he gets more fit. Then the vet recommended some kind of dog food, I don't know the name but it has Overweight Management on the bag, I'll check and see what it's called and post the name.

Any tips for him would be very much appreciated!
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:34 PM  
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I assume that his thyroid has been checked. Other than that, cut back on his food.
I don't know how you decide how much he needs to eat, but you can only go on how he looks - not how much the food bag says, etc.

If he is too heavy, cut back on his intake. Period. Yes, walks are great too, only start out slowly, as you would with a person who is out of shape.

IN SUMMARY - stop overfeeding this dog. You will shorten his life.

Even older dogs should look trim, with a waistline.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:26 AM  
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wow, hes a big boy. but so darn cute! i agree just cut the amount your feeding him.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:57 PM  
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Thank you all for the comments! We've already cut out alot of his food. He gets breakfast, and dinner. Should I feed a third time or just let it be? And how long should I start out with the walks? He goes on about a five minute walk with me in the mornings.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:59 PM  
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A small meal twice a day is sufficient. He can walk as far as he is comfortable walking--you should be able to see how he feels about it. Don't push it--just make the walks frequent. Make sure his nails are short to help with walking--very hard on them to have long nails when so overweight.

If he acts hungry give him a little raw veggies for snacks, but do not give dog treats or fattening foods at all. Best foods to lose weight and keep it off for dogs are those with no grains and high protein from real meat. It builds muscle rather than fat--as long as you feed very little!!
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:04 PM  
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Two feedings a day is definitely plenty. My personal dogs get fed once a day.

For a dog that size, the amount you feed is going to be pretty small. Think of how much he gets total for the day, and divide it into the meals. If you want to do three feedings, and he is getting 3/4's cup per day, then he would get 1/4 level cup per meal - no matter how sad those little brown eyes are.

The 3/4's cup was just a number. He may need even less than that.

We had a 18 pound Welsh Terrier and she only got 1 cup a day. Depends on the brand of food too.

A five minute a day walk is good for starters, then after a few days keep adding some minutes. You will have this pooch in shape in no time!
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:48 PM  
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A small meal twice a day is sufficient. He can walk as far as he is comfortable walking--you should be able to see how he feels about it. Don't push it--just make the walks frequent. Make sure his nails are short to help with walking--very hard on them to have long nails when so overweight.

If he acts hungry give him a little raw veggies for snacks, but do not give dog treats or fattening foods at all. Best foods to lose weight and keep it off for dogs are those with no grains and high protein from real meat. It builds muscle rather than fat--as long as you feed very little!!
What veggies would be best? And is there any other 'snack' that would be healthy enough for him? Just as long as it's not in a large amount.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:55 PM  
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Two feedings a day is definitely plenty. My personal dogs get fed once a day.

For a dog that size, the amount you feed is going to be pretty small. Think of how much he gets total for the day, and divide it into the meals. If you want to do three feedings, and he is getting 3/4's cup per day, then he would get 1/4 level cup per meal - no matter how sad those little brown eyes are.

The 3/4's cup was just a number. He may need even less than that.

We had a 18 pound Welsh Terrier and she only got 1 cup a day. Depends on the brand of food too.

A five minute a day walk is good for starters, then after a few days keep adding some minutes. You will have this pooch in shape in no time!
Thank you so much, you've gave some wonderful advice in this thread! I appreciate it! And all of the other's that have gave advice!

It says on the bag, to feed two cups a day? Should I cut this back?

The vet gave him so medicine, because Saturday, we just about lost him. He's on three medicines, and the only way I can get him to take one of them, is to put the medicine in a hot dog () is this okay? Or should I try another food to get him to take it?

I looked at the bag of food, and it's the Veterinarian Overweight Management by Purina.

I can already tell when I pick him up, he's losing those pounds!
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:15 AM  
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I would like to point out that my 55lb bulldog mix gets 2 cups of food/day to stay at a healthy weight. 'Weight Control' formulations (even those sold by vets) are made with more filler, so people that feel guilty feeding less food, can feed more. Just a visualization: The average human stomach is the size of fist. Take 1/10th of that, and that's roughly the amount of food your dogs stomach can hold at one time w/o overfeeding. I've had the best results with over-weight animals on grain free, high-protein formulations. A good food should produce higher energy levels, which in turn encourage the animal to exercise. If our program is working, keep with it! However, don't be surprised if your dog hits a plateau and you need to trya different approach. Also, remember when looking at food bags for feeding amounts, you should be looking for the weight you want your dog to be at, not what he weighs now! Best of luck!
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:57 AM  
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I would like to point out that my 55lb bulldog mix gets 2 cups of food/day to stay at a healthy weight. 'Weight Control' formulations (even those sold by vets) are made with more filler, so people that feel guilty feeding less food, can feed more. Just a visualization: The average human stomach is the size of fist. Take 1/10th of that, and that's roughly the amount of food your dogs stomach can hold at one time w/o overfeeding. I've had the best results with over-weight animals on grain free, high-protein formulations. A good food should produce higher energy levels, which in turn encourage the animal to exercise. If our program is working, keep with it! However, don't be surprised if your dog hits a plateau and you need to trya different approach. Also, remember when looking at food bags for feeding amounts, you should be looking for the weight you want your dog to be at, not what he weighs now! Best of luck!
Thanks for the advice! From the pictures, what do you think would be a good weight? Or do I need to get better pictures? I know this would be a big goal, but maybe 10 LBS? Somewhere close?
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:58 AM  
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My Airedales get just over 2 cups a day! Of course, yours is no doubt a food with more fillers, but still... that seems like alot to me!

I'm glad he is losing - is he a dog that just seems hungry all the time? I know that emotionally, that makes it harder for you, but most of my dogs would be gluttons if given the opportunity.

As for veggies, my vet recommended green beans as a filler.

You can give a pill with a hot dog, but you can also learn to just open his mouth with your left hand on both sides of his snout, fingers against his top teeth. With your right, push the pill far back into his throat, close his mouth, , holding it shut, and stroke his throat to make sure he swallows it.

If you choose the hot dog route, just make it the smallest piece possible, and that's it. No extras.

As for his recommended weight, I wouldn't know - but you should be able to see a tuck-up underneath just before his hind legs, and feel his ribs just a bit, but not that they are sticking out. Sort of like what a horse in trim shape should look like!
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:59 AM  
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Oh, and some pics from the top of him looking down, and from the side (like a confo shot for a horse) would be helpful.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:14 AM  
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For treats my dog(miniature Schnauzer) likes apples or carrots. He will just about do back flips for a tiny sliver of apple. He gets only 3/4 of a cup of food split for two feedings. He is 16 inches tall and weighs 18 pounds.

How tall is your dog? You could take him for 5 to 10 minutes walks a couple times a day to start. Then work up to at least 30 minutes twice a day after he has lost more and has more stamina. Good for him and you . Mine is helping me loose a few extra lbs.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:05 PM  
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It's hard to say what weight your dog 'should' be at. What I usually do in a situation like yours, is pick a weight less than what the dog weighs now, but higher than the breed standard, and start there. For instance, if a chihuahua should weigh 10lbs, and your dog weighs 21lbs, feed him the amount for a 15lb dog and see where that gets you. In a month or two you can cut back a little more if he still needs to shed extra pounds.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:16 PM  
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Green beans, peas, and baby carrots or Cheerios make FANTASTIC snacks with out all the junk.He may NOT like them at first, but if thats all he gets, then he'll eventually take them.

My lil bichon went on a diet as he was 19lbs and should be 15.. He has lost 3 lbs in 3 months.. with just reducing his food to one cup a day of weight control food. He gets 1/2 a cup in the morning around 9am, then some treats/snacks around 12-1pm as we are doing training for things, then around 5-6 he gets another 1/2 cup of food. and THATS IT.

Small walks 2x a day with a reduction in food is great. For walks, start at 7 minutes out then 7 minutes back (theres 15 minutes) do that 2x a day and you'll be amazed at how quickly he starts to lose weight.

Most Chihuahua's should weigh between 5-8 lbs . Maybe more if they are bigger or longer legged, but with a diet you will increase his life BY at least 2 years, at his weight now, he will LOSE 3-4 years OFF of his life..

So time to get that cute lil man up and moving!
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:55 PM  
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Good luck. I have weight problems with my girl sometimes too, but I like where she is right now. It is so easy to overfeed them. I try to keep telling myself she has a tiny stomach, but when she begs for food its hard. It is easier now that she is getting older to tell when she is getting heavy because if she puts on weight it affects her joints and she doesn't feel well.

My girl gets about 1/4 cup of ol roy lamb and rice (she has a skin condition so vet says lamb) twice a day. Breakfast around 6:30, dinner around 5:00, and at lunch she gets a handful (probably around 1/4 of a cup not much) of weight management senior lamb dog food.

Exercise is really the best thing. If you can't do walks a fenced area is great to or even a leash run. My old lady will spend all day just running around in the yard on her leash. I really want to fence her off a little area but the person who mows the yard says no.

I don't have any treat suggestions. I hardly ever feed them, but when I do I just feed joint supplement ones.

Here she is. She's an 8 year old apricot chihuahua. Sorry I don't have any side shots on my computer right now. If I find them I'll post some of her fat ones.



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Old 05-19-2010, 09:00 PM  
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Good luck. I have weight problems with my girl sometimes too, but I like where she is right now. It is so easy to overfeed them. I try to keep telling myself she has a tiny stomach, but when she begs for food its hard. It is easier now that she is getting older to tell when she is getting heavy because if she puts on weight it affects her joints and she doesn't feel well.

My girl gets about 1/4 cup of ol roy lamb and rice (she has a skin condition so vet says lamb) twice a day. Breakfast around 6:30, dinner around 5:00, and at lunch she gets a handful (probably around 1/4 of a cup not much) of weight management senior lamb dog food.

Exercise is really the best thing. If you can't do walks a fenced area is great to or even a leash run. My old lady will spend all day just running around in the yard on her leash. I really want to fence her off a little area but the person who mows the yard says no.

I don't have any treat suggestions. I hardly ever feed them, but when I do I just feed joint supplement ones.

Here she is. She's an 8 year old apricot chihuahua. Sorry I don't have any side shots on my computer right now. If I find them I'll post some of her fat ones.



I'm in love with your girl! She's adorable!
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