Will a grossly obese dog be fixed by "more exercise"?

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#1
Maybe I am wrong, if so, please tell me.

But I get so irritated when people post about how their dog is grossly obese (For example, a mini schnauzer that needs to lose about 50% of it's weight) and so many people say things like oh you just need to exercise her more. Or take her for two 20 minute walks each day and such without even talking about how the owner clearly needs to feed less.

In my mind, I think a grossly obese dog is clearly fed too much (unless there is some medical reason). So I think the most obvious answer is to feed less.

I do think exercise could help them lose some weight, but I do not see it helping a grossly obese dog losing all of it's weight this way? Do you agree? Or am I wrong? I mean I suppose maybe the dog would lose all the weight if it was exercised 24/7.. but practically I do not think this would actually be an effective way of dealing with a grossly obese dog if this is the ONLY thing you did?

I see exercise as being better for building muscle tone and other conditioning and stamina.

Thoughts?
 
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#2
Almost certainly not by itself. For a really obese dog, IMO, something has to be done about the diet as well.
 

crazedACD

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#3
I've read diet has a bigger percentage on weight loss (for humans). Both won't hurt, and I mean if you are taking the dog out and running them all day they should drop some weight. But unless some drastic exercising is done, I agree that they will probably need a diet change.
 

Southpaw

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#4
That really obese dog is probably not capable of exercise, anyway.

Cajun was "only" 10lbs heavier when I got her and she could only make it 1 lap around the yard with Juno before stopping to lay down. Most activities I did with her in the beginning, would require her to stop and rest.
(It was pathetic at the time, these days I kind of miss that it was so easy to wear her down.... lol)
She wasn't THAT fat in comparison to most dogs, a large amount of pet dogs are about that overweight. So yeah a really obese dog... I don't see them being able to be active initially.

Diet of course has to be addressed. You can make a lot of progress just by feeding an appropriate amount. Happy and Lucy are completely sedentary dogs and maintain a good weight just by portion control. Happy also lost almost 10lbs just by feeding less.

So anyway. Basically when I see an overweight dog, my first thought goes to diet.
 

*blackrose

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#5
When we have clients with obese dogs, the first thing we recommend is a diet (so long as there aren't underlying health issues causing the obesity). They are typically WAY overfeeding in either food, treats, or both. If the regular dieting doesn't work, we try S/D Metabolic. (LOVE that food for weight loss. Oh, man. It has made the world of difference for so many dogs.)

Of course exercise is important, but in most cases people aren't able to exercise more....the diet is the most effective thing, IMO, even if it would be made more effective coupled with more exercise.
 

MericoX

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#6
Depends on the dog and and situation. I most commonly find myself suggesting for people to just pick up a weight management/low calorie food.
 
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#7
Yes this is what I was thinking.

So why do so many people say oh just exercise them more? Barely anyone was recommending reducing the food/treat consumption and it was really irritating me...

The owner wasn't answering my question of how much she is feeding but I remember her posting about her overweight dog before and looking for suggestions and she said something like she gets 9 milk bones a day, a cup of food (maybe 2.. But I think she said 1), and various treats/food throughout the day.

Now she is posting because the vet said if she didn't get her dog to lose weight she is going to have diabetes so it's a little more important. She did respond to the people suggesting exercise by saying her dog refuses to go on walks. Well of course it does... It's probably painful and exhausting to get up let alone go for a walk... Errgg some people shouldn't have dogs. It doesn't seem like she is going to take any suggestions. =/
 
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#10
Y
Now she is posting because the vet said if she didn't get her dog to lose weight she is going to have diabetes so it's a little more important. She did respond to the people suggesting exercise by saying her dog refuses to go on walks. Well of course it does... It's probably painful and exhausting to get up let alone go for a walk... Errgg some people shouldn't have dogs. It doesn't seem like she is going to take any suggestions. =/

because often they're just looking for a way to validate their excuses. Even people disagreeing with them, just gives them an opportunity to tell everyone why nothing will work.
 
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#11
Well, what works for obese humans? Body composition is a result of both lifestyle and diet. Mostly diet I think. If your dog is massively overweight there's probably an issue with too much food being fed.
 
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#14
For diet, you got to check fiber, other carbs, types of carbs, and overall calories too. I find selecting the right recipe and certainly the feeding the right amounts dominate weight control. Once they lose weight, typically the dogs have more energy and they start moving more or faster too.
 

sillysally

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#15
I think many people grossly underestimate how much their dog is eating. Or, they don't read the feeding instructions. Or they feel like the dog is starving and take pity on them (I have one dog who always thinks he's starving, so my heart is hardened to begging-lol).

I suppose recommending exercise doesn't seem that odd to me. When getting horses to drop some weight I generally increased exercise before I decreased feed unless the horse was getting some extreme amount of food/unhealthy food, etc. Also, exercise is something you can do if you're having trouble getting everyone in the house on board with some kind of diet.
 

Sweet72947

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#16
I think a lot of people are just CLUELESS about how much a dog should be fed. There is a bull terrier boarding at work who's feeding instructions say to feed her 1 1/2 cups 2x a day, which works out to THREE cups a day! That's what we feed the mastiff that boards occasionally. The poor bull terrier looks like a coffee table.
 
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#17
>>I think many people grossly underestimate how much their dog is eating. Or, they don't read the feeding instructions. Or they feel like the dog is starving and take pity on them

All these points are true. I've seen many people out of tune on how much they are feeding their dogs. They see that their dogs can eat or wanting to eat more so they keep feeding them thinking they are still hungry and did not get enough substance to live off. The other problem are carb heavy treats, which people lost control handing them out.
 

Romy

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#18
I think a lot of people are just CLUELESS about how much a dog should be fed. There is a bull terrier boarding at work who's feeding instructions say to feed her 1 1/2 cups 2x a day, which works out to THREE cups a day! That's what we feed the mastiff that boards occasionally. The poor bull terrier looks like a coffee table.
:eek:

Strider gets 2 cups a day, total. And he's an 85 lb borzoi.
 

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