My 4 year old
Shepard has hip dysplasia and we've been doing the
supplements and anti-arthritis meds for a while and they do
seem to help. But every
time I go in to the vet's office they tell me she's too
heavy and needs to loose weight.
At 80 pounds isn't that what a
female German Shepard should be? I only feed her 3 1/2
cups of good quality low fat dog food, less than what it
says to feed on the directions, and I can't see feeding her
less than what it says. Is she too fat and how do you
get a dog to lose weight?
hip dysplasia... overweight
First of all, no two dogs are identical so
the feeding recommendations on any pet food are "suggested
amounts to feed". My experience is that the suggested
amounts are almost always providing too many calories per day... and
total calories per day is the crucial factor especially if the dog's
exercise sessions stay the same.
It is a fact that in any individual, including
us humans, if we consume more energy as calories from fat,
carbohydrates and proteins over time than we burn for muscle and
metabolism energy, our bodies are programmed to store the excess
energy as fat. In dogs and cats that are on the
"light" diets or "low fat" diets, pet food
companies reduce the high calorie fat as a means of consumer
appeal... and therefore the percent of carbohydrate goes up.
What nobody tells you, though, is that unused extra carbohydrate is
converted to and stored as fat. And many pets have dry, itchy
skin due to too low levels of high quality fat when eating only
these low fat diets. See the pages on how to get a dog
or cat to lose
The short answer is you must feed fewer
total calories per day than the dog is consuming from his diet
including treats, snacks, and rewards. You don't necessarily
have to stop with the treats but just remember that something in
the total food intake for the day must be reduced or you will
never see any weight reduction. You must be willing to permit
the dog to be a little "hungry" otherwise no weight will
ever be lost.
Important points about
The incidence of hip dysplasia in dogs is decreasing due to better
understanding of the genetic determiners that predispose some dogs to
Genetics, environmental factors and body weight all contribute to the
development of CHD.
Feeding low quality (low protein, high carbohydrate, poorly digestible)
dog foods WILL NOT forestall or diminish the expression of hip dysplasia
in a dog or cat.
Feeding too much food (larger quantities than needed to maintain proper
weight) that "over-calorie" the dog will lead to excess body weight.
Excess body weight ,especially in large breeds of dogs while they are
growing. can exacerbate joint disorders.
Why don't cats get hip dysplasia?
cats... hip dysplasia... why do
Who says they don't get hip dysplasia?!
The fact is, even thought seen less often in cats, some cats do
develop hip dysplasia and really can suffer from the joint
Winn Feline Foundation website tells us "We
do know that if a cat or dog is found to have hip dysplasia, then
both its parents must be either affected or carriers of the defect.
Using new information, cat breeders are able to develop breeding
programs to minimize the incidence of this problem in their breed."