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Weight Loss in Pugs

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Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Saira on 10/26/2009, 9:38 am

I thought I'd start a topic because it seems many pugs need to lose weight and people aren't sure of what to do and might be a good topic if people search! We've seen so many pugs come into rescue overweight, and it really puts a lot of strain on their bodies.

Hooligan was 28 lbs at his heaviest and is now down between 22-23 lbs, which the vet said is (finally) a good weight. He has always been a chunky guy though-as opposed to Indy and Sophie who can eat more and still say on the thinner side. We've had to endure a lot of lectures by our vet (who I love) because he did Indy's hip surgery and he always watches him extra closely, weight wise.

One of the big things is never go by the amount of food they tell you to feed you on the bag. Holy cow, if I fed my dogs that amount, they'd be as big as houses! Hopefully someone here has that calorie formula to add. We also have to watch our treats, we used to give cheese but that added up, and our vet also said baby carrots, while good for occasional treats have a lot of sugar in them. We use green beans as treats a lot, and we sometimes add them into their food.

Oh, and Hooli's greatest weight loss trick-add a Sophie. She is his own personal trainer!



Any tips you guys have?

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Tyson&LuLu'sMom on 10/26/2009, 9:45 am

Here's the calorie formula:

(50 calories x number of pounds )
number of calories per cup of kibble

I think another important point is to make sure to be feeding a quality kibble. The fillers like corn and by-products are no good in the first place, and just add weight.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Saira on 10/26/2009, 9:46 am

Tyson&LuLu'sMom wrote:Here's the calorie formula:

(50 calories x number of pounds )
number of calories per cup of kibble

I think another important point is to make sure to be feeding a quality kibble. The fillers like corn and by-products are no good in the first place, and just add weight.

Thanks! I was looking for that earlier, and couldn't find it anywhere.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Mel on 10/26/2009, 10:29 am

is that number of pounds they are or what you want them to be? Zoe could lose a few pounds, but I always struggle with the treats. partly because if she's still hungry she goes into the kitchen and scratches on the cabinets. sometimes she just barks at me! she could definitely use a Sophie trainer.


Last edited by Mel on 10/26/2009, 10:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  GracieNEmma on 10/26/2009, 10:34 am

My girls are both right at 18-20 pounds. I just watch what I feed them. I feed them the raw diet and I just watch the amount of treats I give them. I use Cheerios and Carrots for their treats and I'll sometimes "splurge" and get them some doggie treats. The other night we went to a cupcake store and bought ourselves a cupcake and they had doggies ones so I brought them home one. We also try to keep them active by taking them for walks at the park or at least a daily walk around our neighborhood. They both were overweight when I switched their diet. Gracie got up to 22 pounds and Emma was up to 24 pounds.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Mel on 10/26/2009, 10:37 am

I never thought of cheerios. that sounds like it'd be much cheaper than doggie treats too!

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Maryjo on 10/26/2009, 10:52 am

Rocky (our foster) was 33 lbs at his highest, he's now a comfortable 26.5 lbs. With so many dogs, I can't free-feed and I think that makes a huge difference.

My Odie Gus Gus is down to 24 lbs, he was almost 27 lbs. I attribute his weight loss to Chloe, the demon personal trainer. She runs his legs off. *LOL*

I also don't go by what the dog food bag says, they just want you to buy more.

Most of the pugs here get 1/2 cup of food in the AM, and 1/2 cup of food in the PM.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Mel on 10/26/2009, 10:56 am

Maryjo wrote:
Most of the pugs here get 1/2 cup of food in the AM, and 1/2 cup of food in the PM.

that's what I've been feeding Zoe. she's on the s/d lite dry kibble. at night I add green beans.

I think it's the treats and lack of exercise that does it. when I take her to the dog park she just stands there.

any other grocery store foods, like cheerios, you could suggest. I'd rather not spend so much $$ on dog treats.

thanks!

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Tyson&LuLu'sMom on 10/26/2009, 11:25 am

Mel wrote:

any other grocery store foods, like cheerios, you could suggest. I'd rather not spend so much $$ on dog treats.

thanks!

Canned peaches are a hit at our house. Also among the faves are banana slices, apple slices, blueberries, broccoli, yogurt and pumpkin for other reasons of course...

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  akc0104 on 10/26/2009, 12:25 pm

What a great topic!

Matilda is on a lower calorie food, gets 1/2 c in the morning, and 1/2 at night. She doesn't know what to do with treats - literally carries them around and doesn't eat them. I think watching her diet has helped her loose some of the weight and I am sure that ButterballBob is going to help with the rest. LOL.

Matilda topped out about 21lbs and the vet would like her to be 18ish.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  dieselsmom on 10/26/2009, 12:25 pm

If only someone watched my calorie intake as closely as I monitor the pugs!!

I used to be one of those owners who never realized my pug was overweight. At his heaviest, Diesel was 26 1/2 pounds and he was a fricking buffalo. I used to say he wasn't fat, he was fluffy. Then a light clicked on and I realized I was feeding him to death. We used to free feed Diesel when he was an only pug. When Makayla came along, we did 2 meals a day, but never measured the food we gave him.

To lose weight, we started measuring how much food we gave him. Holy crap - that's a HUGE wakeup call when you realize how much you once fed them! We also upped his activity level by taking him to daycare. He needs to stay right around 19 pounds or so to be at a healthy weight, and we maintain his weight by monitoring his calories and activity level. When they start looking a little fluffy (like Makayla is right now, who needs to drop about 1 1/2 pounds), we cut their food back a little, add some green beans to help fill them up without adding calories and try to keep them active.

I will say, though, that when Diesel shed all that weight, the change in him was unbelievable!! He's more active now at 5 1/2 than he was at a year old. He feels better without that extra weight.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Saira on 10/26/2009, 12:30 pm

dieselsmom wrote:
I will say, though, that when Diesel shed all that weight, the change in him was unbelievable!! He's more active now at 5 1/2 than he was at a year old. He feels better without that extra weight.

I agree! Between Hooli's dental, and his weight, he is so much more active than he ever used to be (heh..although admittedly, even his most "active" is like Sophie's most sedate-he is not exactly a high energy puggy!!), but when he was about 3 our vet said it looked like he was getting arthritis, with his weight loss and the food, he is great now, joint wise. But he can keep up with the others when he wants to now.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  TNPUGMOMOF3 on 10/26/2009, 12:40 pm

Bella was 24 lbs...FAT!!! And Lola was about 22...also fat, but not as bad! They got down to 17 & 16. That seemed a little on the thin side, but not bad. Bella is about 19 now and could loose a pound or two and Lola is 17 and she looks great! 1/3 cup twice a day to loose weight. Activity is the biggest factor for mine. Table food was also our downfall and taking that away made weight loss much easier....gee go figure....

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Guest on 10/26/2009, 5:31 pm

LuLu was not very overweight when she came to us, but definitely was just a companion house pug with 0 activity.

I walk her and try to get her to play with me and I noticed how much of a difference just small activities help. She has gotten some muscle definition in her hind legs when before it was just a hunk of leg and her tummy slims out by her hinds now.

She is still a bit stiff when she wakes up, but when I first got her we would go on a short walk and she was panting and limping after 2 blocks and would keep off that leg for a few hours. Her front left foot is definitely her weaker foot, but since slowly increasing her activity, she hasn't had a leg limp.

She doesnt know what a toy is for so all the activity is engaged by me. It's keeping us both healthier so really I'm thankful I have a reason to go on walks or spend time chasing her around the house when she is being playful.

Yes, I watch what she eats and break treats up into small pieces to give all through the day, but I see the biggest thing I can do for her is keep her active.

She is comfortable with walking about 1/2 a mile now per walk without slowing her pace when we started with only going 2 blocks before it was dunzo.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  northernwitch on 10/26/2009, 5:48 pm

One of the things that is always the big difference between the all breed rescue and the pug rescue (I foster for both) is that the all breed often gets in emaciated dogs and the pug rescue often gets in fatties.

I'm a demon about weight with dogs. My guys who get raw, get 3 to 4 ozs per meal. Those that get kibble, get no grain, high protein kibble--1/4 to 1/3 cup per meal (I feed twice a day). As a result, I don't have to be too careful about treats. I only give no grain treats, often treats that are only meat--alot of dehydrated organ meat and dehydrated fruits and veggies. I bought a dehydrator to save me some money as dog treats are outrageously expensive. I wish I could use cheerios, but too many grain allergies here for that to be an option.

I don't free feed and never have. Everyone here would be huge porkers if I did. I do think that once a day feeding makes it harder for dogs to lose weight. Sounds ass backwards, I know, but I think that limiting their intake to once a day slows down the metabolism or whatever the mechanism is, to some degree. If you look at the science of weight loss in humans, the recommendation is multiple small meals rather than a couple of big ones. I also make sure my guys get regular exercise--we go to the off leash park religiously every day for an hour to an hour and a half. My crew are all seniors and so not exactly live wires so the enforced exercise is really important to them.

I do vary amounts based on age, activity level, time of year, etc.

We've had a foster die within 24 hours of coming into rescue and the vet was pretty clear that her obese status was a significant contributor to her death. Add the stress of coming into rescue, being in heat and being grossly overweight and she had a cardiac event and died. Broke our hearts.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Imon on 10/26/2009, 6:59 pm

Otto also dropped from 28 pounds to just between 22 and 23 pounds. He has some back issues, and it was necessary for him to drop the weight.

We switched him to a weight control food, and we measure it carefully. It's easy to over judge when you just pour the food in, and a pug will never tell you when he's had enough! I also started breaking his treats into 4 smaller pieces each, so he still gets treats during training sessions or when I have to give meds, but much smaller amounts. Doesn't seem to bother him; as long as he gets a goodie, he doesn't really measure it.

I think the most important thing we did was to measure his food and make sure everyone knew not to give him cookies to show they loved him. He's fine with a pat on the head, or a bellyrub, or something like that to tell him he's loved and adored. And he's moving much better with those 5 pounds gone.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  GingerSnap on 10/26/2009, 8:32 pm

My experience with an overweight pug came when my ex-husband was "eyeballing" his feeding of Jackson. Let's just say that a man used to free-feeding a 90-pound German shepherd has no idea what 1/2 cup looks like! He made it up to 23.4 pounds before I even realized it. Then I cut way back and overshot it in the other direction, and he got down to 16.4 pounds, which was just way to skinny for him. He looks great at around 18-18.5 pounds-- he's got a waist from the top and the side. Most people think he looks a little on the thin side for a pug, but he's got good muscle mass and is very energetic at that weight.

When we were in the losing phase, and I was cutting back on his food, I did tend to give him a little more at night than in the morning, so I didn't have to be around for him being hungry, cranky, and barking at me! Even now, he varies between 1/3 cup and 1/2 cup of prescription kibble for his liver, twice a day. If he's in between the two, I give him 1/3 cup for breakfast and 1/2 cup for supper.

I don't tend to give a lot of treats unless actively training, and even then, they're tiny. I often use the ones that lisamak sells at My Dog Ate It Catering, and I love their small size!

Tyson&LuLu'sMom wrote:Here's the calorie formula:

(50 calories x number of pounds )
number of calories per cup of kibble
The original amount that I heard for adult dogs was 30 cal/pound to maintain their weight, and 60 cal/pound for puppies. Honestly, though, whatever formula people use to get in the ballpark, I think it's important to realize that a single rule of thumb isn't going to work for all dogs. Even the 30 cal/pound figure is too much food for Jackson. He ends up getting 266-399 cal/day. Sammy, who's my less active one, maintains his weight nicely on 485 cal/day. Go figure! At 18 pounds, they should need 540 cal/day. So I think they take-home message is to pay attention to how they're looking/feeling, and adjust a bit up or down as needed.

Mel wrote:she's on the s/d lite dry kibble.
s/d comes in a dry kibble?!??!?! I thought it only came in cans! This would make my life so much easier when Jax is on his s/d part of his rotation!

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  Pugsaunt on 10/26/2009, 9:04 pm

Penny is on Taste of the Wild right now, and she gets 1/8 cup twice a day, with pumpkin and yogurt (fat free). I finally have her down to 22.5 lbs (she varies from 22.3 to 22.7 from month to month), and she has a very slim and girlish figure with a definite waistline without being skinny. Her arthritis mandates that I keep a good eye on her weight. We do one major (for us) marina walk (about 1/4 mile) and one around-the-complex walk (a bit less) a day, plus we do some exercises that the physical therapist showed us. We don't walk very far, because she has horrendous arthritis in her elbows and hips (the x-rays are just scary), and I've got it in my knees. She also gets treats, but no wheat/corn/soy. One thing to remember is that muscle weighs more than fat. She was a bit fluffy when I got her, and it took me a while to realize that I was overfeeding her, too.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  pugmom on 10/29/2009, 8:54 pm

Which would you consider a better treat for pugs Cheerios or Rice Chex?

Rice Chex have more salt, sugar, and calories but no fat. The Cheerios have the grain and some fat.

I had switched my Ty from Cheerios to Rice Chex but now I am not sure I should have. He was thin when I first adopted him but now is a good weight for him. I DO have to watch and not let the DH give him too many treats from the table.

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Re: Weight Loss in Pugs

Post  pugpillow on 10/29/2009, 11:34 pm

pugmom wrote:Which would you consider a better treat for pugs Cheerios or Rice Chex?

Rice Chex have more salt, sugar, and calories but no fat. The Cheerios have the grain and some fat.

I had switched my Ty from Cheerios to Rice Chex but now I am not sure I should have. He was thin when I first adopted him but now is a good weight for him. I DO have to watch and not let the DH give him too many treats from the table.

Neither. They both have grain and zero nutritional benefits. How about raw baby carrots, small pieces of apple or cucumber or dehydrated liver/chicken? And cut out the table scraps completely.

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