I have had a terrible time getting Baxter to lose weight. I have tried several different types of diet food (both prescription and non), adjusting the amount of food, reduced calorie treats, exercising. Being a rescue dog he came with a lot of baggage (both emotionally and health wise). While he was a very big Pug when we adopted him I contributed to the problem in using treats to train him. My second pug Rudy is also an eater (what Pug isn't?!), but is much more high energy and enjoys playing and walking. Baxter on the other hand has difficultly walking do to some inherited health issues and ends up sitting (sometimes in the middle of a busy road as we are crossing!), and often ends up being carried home with great difficulty. My youngest daughter claims she won't walk with Baxter anymore because he draws so much attention- do to his girth (my son says he looks like a pony keg with legs). He is quite a site and I am often afraid of causing a car accident from people rubbernecking at him. But he has to move and honestly the only movement he wants to make is onto my lap. Any suggestions on weight loss or exercising would be appreciated. I should add we are unaware of Baxter's exact age due to the nature of his rescue, but the vet has estimated he is now around 7 or 8 years old.

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Comment by Pamela Roeper on June 29, 2009 at 4:26pm
Thank you so much for your tips Laura. I have heard of using green beans (and goodness knows he'll eat them since he'll eat anything), but I never knew how much to add to diet. I also have a pool, but have never attempted to put either Pug in. It makes sense that it would be a lot easier on Baxter. He may really enjoy it? Now that summer is here in the North I am going to get a life jacket and give it a try.
Comment by Laura Russell on June 29, 2009 at 8:52am
I've been successful getting weight off dogs but it's tough love. Like people, the only way a dog will lose weight is to move more and eat less. I don't ever free feed. I keep all my dogs on a senior/weight management diet. I never do any treats (tough part!!!) I feed the overweight ones less than 1/2 cup dry morning and evening and have gone down to 1/4 cup. I mix the food with water and often add canned green beans, shredded carrots or canned tomatoes. Only add 1, perhaps 1/4 cup. I only will do this at maximum once a day.

Are you in a place that a swimming pool is available? It's great exercise. You should probably put Baxter in a life jacket though. An alternative is a really full bathtub or a hot tub. Swimming is easier on the joints.

Prescription dog food can be a lifesaver. Again, you can always overfeed. Less is better. Try taking him to a park to walk him so he's on the softer surface (grass). Unfortunately his weight will aggravate his joints, but unless the weight comes off he will only continue to decline. I have seen overwieght dogs die at a young age due to heart attacks or when they are put under anesthesia. The weight has to be reduced. It will take time. He will adjust to less food.

Good luck. It's hard for people to lose weight (I know!) and hard to have your dog lose weight.

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