I Thought Holly Was Getting A Little Fat...

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by 648117, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. 648117 Honored Member

    but she isn't :eek:

    Me and my mum thought Holly was starting to get a little chubby but because she is a mix breed we don't know how heavy she should be (they have posters at the vets with different breeds ideal weights on them), and she hadn't been weighed in a while (she was 5.7kg last time so I thought she must of been over 6kgs by now). We've been trying to keep an eye on her weight because both Pugs and Bichons seem to be prone to putting on weight.

    So today we had to take one of our cats to the vets (he's been fighting) so we took Holly to be weighed. She was 5.9kg :eek: we were so shocked, I really thought she was heavier.

    So then after the vet saw the cat we got him to have a feel of Holly to tell us if she was getting fat and give us an indication of how much she should weigh.... the vet said she was NOT over weight at all and said he would like to see her put on at least 1/2 a kg :eek:O_o:eek: he said it was all fluff and her ribs were a little too easy to feel (I thought they were becoming a little too well covered) and we just can't see her tuck because of her fur.

    I still think 1/2 a kg is too much for her to put on, especially because she does agility and I don't want her to be heavy because of the extra strain it would put on her joints.

    I was thinking of letting her get to 6.1kg and see how that goes. 1/2 a kg seems like a lot for a small dog to put on.

    So, how does everybody else know how heavy their dog should be?
    (especially if you have a mix breed, a fluffy dog, or a breed that generally has a stocky appearance like Pugs do)
    MaryK and Dogster like this.

  2. Dogster Honored Member

    I think 1/2 a kg is too much.:eek: I think dogs are a good weight when you can feel their ribs. Shivon's ideal weight is 30-30.5 pounds, so I was worried she was getting too fat when she crept up to 32 pounds:rolleyes: (all those table scraps and snacks:rolleyes:) What can I say, I'm a worrywart:rolleyes: I'm pretty sure she's 30 pounds again, thankfully. I think breeds like whippets should be thin enough so you can feel and see their ribs (to a certain point obviously, not too thin) cuz they are skinny dogs to begin with.

    I think stocky dogs can still be thin. I think keeping Holly that thin is good, as long as she still eats and acts like a normal Holly then nothing is wrong with her weight, IMO.:) It's A LOT harder to get a dog thin then to get a dog fat. If you lift up her fur, try to see how easy it is to see her ribs, if it's very easy to see them, then she may be too thin. But I don't think she's too thin... Alright, that's my imput!:D:p
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  3. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    This was Ripley when we brought her home from the shelter:
    [IMG]
    We had had her about 4 weeks here and she had put on weight since we first had her here... She was about 13-15kg underweight when we had her and her ribs and back bone just stuck out sooo bad...

    Now she is the weight she should be and although, because her fur is so think (although she is short coated her under fur is Malamute) when she is bathed or swims you still see a bit of rib... This is good. I know she is a great weight now but she has balanced weight (muscle and not unused fat). Her she is now:

    [IMG]
  4. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi

    Well your vet is the only one who has examined your dog, and he is also a vet :) so I'd go with what he said. I think the ribs should be readily felt but not seen; in a healthy short-haired dog, you might see them only when the dog is in an awkward position. You should be able to feel the ribs on a dog when you put just a bit of pressure on the skin, but you shouldn't be gliding your hand over a xylaphone when you pet your dog's side, if you know what I mean.

    I keep an eye on my dog (a mixed breed, fluffy dog) through feel. I don't pay as much attention to his weight except to "double-check" myself. He wears a harness, and I would also notice if that fit differently. Here in NY, the weather has gone between rain/thunderstorms and incredibly hot so he's been getting much less exercise, and I noticed the other day that his harness was just a titch tighter.

    Keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat, so if you start regular heavy exercise, she might gain weight but not be any fatter.
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  5. sara Moderator

    I keep mine skinny. I am paranoid of overweight, and a touch too skinny is healthier than overweight imo. A 1/2kg is 1.1 pounds for people in the US. that's alot for a small dog.
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  6. vickih Well-Known Member

    I tend to go by energy levels rather than sizing since both my 2 are mixed breeds and odd mixes! It's more important to me that my dogs can run and play for a fair while and do what dogs do best without looking like they're about to drop from exhaustion!
    MaryK likes this.
  7. 648117 Honored Member

    She is fluffy, I can feel her ribs on her side with a bit of pressure but her fur sort of makes it harder to judge. I can feel them better if I pat her backwards with my finger tips (so my finger tips are under her fur). I don't think it's like a xylaphone.

    That's a good idea about the fit of the harness, Holly wears a harness, but because she is young she has been growing anyway (she's 10 months old now) I haven't been able to use that as an indication of weight. Although she didn't grow very fast and I think she's done growing because she is small breed.

    Yea, she is muscular, she is a pretty strong little dog.

    She is fluffy so she doesn't look thin at all. But she only has a single coat.

    Sorry about the kg vs pounds, I sometimes forget about that O_o

    I agree that it seems like a lot for her to put on. I really do wonder if vets are just starting to get used to overweight dogs so now their perception of what is a healthy normal weight has increased.

    I think we are being extra careful about Holly's weight because most Pugs look fat and most Bichons that I've met are pretty fat (I have a friend who has one and he looks uncomfortably fat and they always make excuses about it) and even the fox terriers around here are often fat and don't have a waist. (Holly is 1/2 Pug, 1/4 Bichon and 1/4 Fox Terrier).

    And because we had Cavaliers we are used to being paranoid about letting them get too heavy. Cavaliers seem to be good at putting on weight and one of ours in particular would have been very fat if we had let him. The vet was always impressed that our Cavaliers were a healthy weight (especially as they got older) because they saw so many enourmous ones.

    We are increasing her kibble a little bit and are going to weigh her more regularly and see what she's like at 6.1kg.

    Oh yes, Holly has LOTS of energy. Her nickname at obedience and agility is "rocket" and the other week a random person at the dog park called her that too :LOL:



    I'll take a picture of her next weekend when she has a bath (after getting muddy at the dog park) so everyone can see her wet to get a better idea of how her weight looks.
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  8. vickih Well-Known Member

    She sounds lovely and healthy to me. Just right :)
    MaryK, southerngirl and Dogster like this.
  9. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member

    Here are a few things that may help:

    Ideal weight for female Pug: 13-18lbs [5.9 - 8.2 kg]
    Ideal weight for female Bichon: 10-15lbs [4.5 - 6.8kg]

    Average = 14lbs / 6.35kg

    A helpful guideline:


    Does that help? I have to say I am not a "just because a vet said it it must be true" kinda gal. Vets recommend keeping pups away from life until they are 6 months old - sometimes not even so much as peeing outside...they recommend Science Diet like it is filet mignon and more than one client has had vets recommend prong collars as a FIRST resort.

    I say go with what you feel is right, based on an educated estimate of her abilities and quality of life.
    MaryK, dogcrazy, Mutt and 3 others like this.
  10. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Love the comments Pawtential!
  11. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Those examples are a bit different than seeing a dog in person, weighing and palpating the dog, and saying that the dog is too thin, though. No one who has pronounced the dog a good weight in this thread has actually had hands on the dog , and that's important.

    Also,
    ... isn't quite true. I don't know of any who say until 6 mos, although SOME recommend they get their full set of DAPPV shots which end at 16 weeks, and no unsupervised off-leash until rabies vaccine (which can also be at 16 weeks). Anyway, many, many vets recommend proper socialization, do not recommend prong collars, do not recommend filet mignon OR Science Diet as a lifelong food, etc. I think it's kind of unfair to proclaim that "vets" do X, Y, or Z. I'd hate to hear proclamations about what dog trainers do or don't do, as we all know there's a big difference between a Jean Donaldson and a Brad Patteson.
  12. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member

    Absolutely - I wholeheartedly agree. I was writing quickly as I went out the door and was just making a general comment not specifically related to this other than to say a vets word is not gospel, not something to never be questioned, just because they are a vet. I will even question my vet if I am unsure about something - not because I know better but because I want to know or understand more.

    Again I agree. Many vets are doing more than the right thing, and I should have stated SOME. But I do see at least 1-2 dogs A MONTH that are getting out for the first time at 6 months - most recently a German Sherperd and a ShihTzu x Maltese. Maybe it is a location thing. I know vets that give rabies at 16 weeks - and several locals that specifically say 6 months.

    On a daily basis I have people ask when their puppy can start class and when I say 8 weeks, they recoil in horror at the thought of their pup being in public that young. Honestly - at least 1-2 times a day I get this - sometimes more. I run puppy socials and puppy confidence classes and often only have a few at a time.

    Prongs are very prevalent in this area - we have an extremely high number of pit bull, lab and shepherd mixes around here. I have a number of people a week working with a trainer who recommends prongs to even 8 WEEK OLD PUPS! When several of these people have asked their vet [separate vets] what they thought - the vet both said if used properly - they would be fine. REALLY??!?!

    Also probably an area thing - but 7-8 times out of 10 if a vet recommends a prescription diet - it is Science Diet. We don't have a vet in store but people come in with their prescriptions all the time.

    BUT I AGREE - I should not have made a blanket declarative statement like that! I love my vet and many I have worked with - so it was a quickly written statement that was not very clear...my apologies! :oops:
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  13. 648117 Honored Member

    hmmm, so she would be on the light side for a Pug which is what her shape most resembles (she is half Pug) but not so much for a Bichon. I met a Bichon x Fox Terrier at the dog park last week and it was a lot bigger and taller than Holly but Holly's mother might have been half mini fox terrier and so smaller.

    I'm not sure I trust my own judgement when feeling her ribs because I thought she was getting fat and was very wrong (according to the vet anyway). :cautious:

    Although our vet does sell Science Diet (and Royal Canin) I do trust their judgement on most things but I do think 1/2 a kg is too much but am letting Holly put on a little weight to see how that goes.

    There are no rabies here and our vet runs a puppy socialisation class for puppies 8-12 weeks old (Holly missed out on it because by the time they started up again after christmas she was to old) so she had to go straight to puppy obedience that is run by a trainer.


    Anyway, I'll take a photo of her during her bath tomorrow (so her fur doesn't hide her weight) and post it here to get opinions. And I'll get her weighed again.

    I'm also going to get our obedience trainer to feel Holly tomorrow and give an opinion on her weight because she will have a lot of experience with what athletic dogs should feel like and has actually commented on one of the other dogs starting to get overweight before (the dog was starting to get round :LOL:) because of all the treats.
    southerngirl likes this.
  14. 648117 Honored Member

    I just had a thought about the food she eats that I should ask about.

    Holly eats Orijen Puppy.
    It says it's for dogs up to 1 year, but a few months ago the vet said Holly could probably go onto adult dog food because she is small breed. I don't actually remember the vet even asking what brand of food she was eating, I think Holly was only 6 months old at the time and we were still feeding her Royal Canin Small Breed Puppy because that's what she was fed when we got her, then I started to read some of the stuff about dog food and changed her to Orijen Puppy instead of changing her to adult food.

    Holly is now just over 10 months old so if we put her on adult food (which I guess we will be soon) will the food contain fewer calories than the puppy food? if so should I feed her even more food to stop her losing any weight?

    Do dogs usually experience a change in weight when they change from puppy food to adult food?
  15. Pawbla Experienced Member

    It's okay to change now. You can wait one or two months but it will not make a big difference.

    They do experience a change in weight when you chance foods. Start on the same amount and move upwards if you feel she's getting skinny.

    By the way a good way to check your dog's REAL shape is... soak her in water. My dog looks a bit "fat" normally but his weight is excellent. If you soak him in water you can easily see he's not fat at all.

    Ribs should be able to be palpated, but not seen. Which makes it hard on a fluffy dog. But, just like a human being, you have to be able to notice a layer of fat over them.
  16. 648117 Honored Member

    The trainer said that Holly's weight is fine. She said that vets do tend to like the dogs a little heavier which is not always good for dogs that to agility and obedience. She said the amount I currently feed her now is fine and is a similar amount to what she feeds her small dog.

    She gave the example of Border Collies. She said that show weight Border Collies are usually too heavy to work (although the vet would probably say they are a good weight) and that it can change their gait so it is better to keep the dog a little bit lighter if it is 'working'.

    I took some photos of her in the bath (actually I bath her in the laundry sink) but they didn't turn out very well, I might post them later.
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  17. Pawbla Experienced Member

    If you feel she isn't that skinny, that's okay. Just watch her weight very carefully. Don't allow her to lose weight, and she'll be fine. Considering you have a small dog, it'd be easy for you to weigh her in a human scale I guess. It'd be good to buy one!
  18. sara Moderator

    Again, there's nothing wrong with a skinny dog, as long as it's not emaciated. I would much MUCH prefer to see a dog 1lb underweight than a dog that's 1lb overweight! And your trainer is absolutely right. Working weight is ALOT different than show weight, and vets are so used to seeing fat dogs that it's becoming the norm for them.
    bekah1001 and southerngirl like this.
  19. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    My dog has gotten appreciative comments from three different vets (inc. an orthopedist) on his 'slender' physique. I think some vets appreciate thin dogs. I do see some vets seem shy to tell people their dogs are fat--one vet friend of mine said that oftentimes the person is not an 'ideal' weight and it can be extremely awkward to talk about the patient's weight, as it sounds like a roundabout criticism of the person's care for their animal and the care they take of themselves. :confused: I can understand that, but still it's frustrating when I tentatively mention something to someone about their dog's weight and they fly back at me that their vet never said anything. There's a Beagle mix at the local dog park who is so fat she's square, and she has a fat roll when she lifts her tail, and the guy tells me the vet said she just needed to lose a pound or two. The poor thing can't run around for more than 30 sec and spends the summer panting and sprawled out. He should have been given a diet plan and had regular weigh-ins scheduled.

    I remember a few years ago, someone in the UK was charged with animal cruelty because they had a Beagle who was ~35 lb overweight. Very sad!
    Pawbla likes this.
  20. bekah1001 Honored Member

    I'm actually really happy that we were able to find a waist on my brother's dog. She was a little overweight at the beginning of the summer but I tried to take her for a run a the park everyday. She has really slimmed down.
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