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Overweight Shibas
  • My girl, Emiko, is a 4year old Female Red. She weighs 36 lbs!!! She is fairly active and plays with her brother (hound mix) all day and plays fetch, with me, when I come home from work. I walk her 2-3 times a week--however, I do plan to start walking her a lot more because I don't want her weight to affect her health. In my opinion, I think she is very muscular too. she plays with dogs that are much bigger than her.
    I have varied her diet so much--mostly bc we have moved 3 times in 4 years, but also slightly bc of cost and looking for more reasonable foods. I started feeding her blue Buffalo wild puppy formula, then realized i could just go with high quality brands that were grain free. Then i realized most of them had too much protein for her. Ive recently started feeding a grain free, healthy weight recipe brand from Costco and I feel like its a good compromise. What Brands do everyone prefer the most here?
    any tips on keeping my girl active and possibly loosing some weight?

    [mod edit: changed category and title to match content]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2016-07-27 08:01:33
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1201
    In my opinion a lot of Shibas are overweight, I see the pictures here on the forum and in real life here in Sweden. A lot of people seem to be in denial too and say that their dog is not overweight but muscular. Sorry but no, those are not muscles.

    In the summer my shiba find it too hot to do much but then she loses her appetite too. Otherwise on average we are out 2-3 hours a day, not all of that is brisk walking of course but we walk and play and climb and discover. I usually go running once a week too for about 2-4 miles with her.
    She has always been of slim build and she is not very food oriented either so maybe I've just been lucky to have a slim dog.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8254
    A walk 2-3 times a week is definitely not enough. My dogs get a walk 3-4 times a day.

    As for food, there is an entire category on Food/Nutrition that has some great threads on what other people feed their dogs. Read up on that.

    In addition, you will probably want to talk to your vet about the weight gain. Hypothyroidism is unfortunately very common in Shibas and can cause substantial weight gain, especially in females. Even if that is not the cause, your vet can help you and your pup get back on track to a healthy weight.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    Check out Cody's journey he was 104lbs and now 43lbs or 38lbs.
    https://www.facebook.com/CodyTheChubbyShiba/

    I'd increase the exercise some. there are many weight loss kibbles. Some look nice and some look lacking in protein and high on carbs..

    Ones I seen that look good is fromm gold weight management, wellness core grain free reduced fat formula, annamaet lean, and Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food.

    I feed raw so not too familiar with kibble so can't help much on that. I've fed wellness core, fromm, and victor brands without issues with my other dog.

    Also another way to loose weight is feed same food as always, but decrease the amount. If a dog is gaining weight on a food best to decrease amount maybe they don't need as much.

    Green beans help with getting the dog to feel more full when decreasing the food some. I did that with Saya I cooked and grind it up she eats it up no issue, but if dog does not like the taste a squirt of salmon oil will help with that.

    I agree if it is thyroid issue then that could cause it if not might need to do more exercise. have a picture of your shiba from the side and maybe top view?
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2016-07-27 09:05:43
  • I will post a few pictures of her today. Thank you to everyone for your great responses!
    Post edited by CoastalShiba240 at 2016-07-27 09:33:54
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3450
    Juni said:

    In my opinion a lot of Shibas are overweight



    I agree, but want to add, I think a lot of dogs in general are overweight....
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1201
    Oh absolutely @boots it is a general problem.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3450
    @Juni

    It's funny when people say my Shiba is underweight... I usually say "excuse me, she is not, but yours is definitely overweight borderline obese :-\" "
  • niki82niki82
    Posts: 434
    Sora's breeder explained that shibas put on weight very easy if under excerised. She sent a feeding guide to help with the pack Sora came with. (mostly a raw diet) Sora is now almost completely raw fed and very healthy and fit. We go on very long, adventure and play walks 3times a day. Each walk consists of different activities we do during our walks. Sora's health is very important to me.. Health of the mind, body and emotional happiness. She loves her outside bonding time with her mummy. :)
    Post edited by niki82 at 2016-07-27 20:17:44
  • Lrose1990Lrose1990
    Posts: 80
    I think that while higher protein foods are great, people feed too much of them. The recommendations on the bag may not be right for your dog.

    Check out this site :

    https://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/our-services/nutrition-support-service/basic-calorie-calculator
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 874
    My Quakey gained weight after his neuter. He was weighing 30 pounds before the neuter and 36 pounds within six months after the neuter. He gained the weight even though I had decreased his food intake by 25% just as the vet had suggested and had kept up with his 3-4 aerobic walks a day. He always gets 3-4 aerobic walks a day and if it is too hot in the summer or too icy in the winter; I make sure we play fetch and other games inside if we have not be able to exercise much during his walks. I switched his food to The Honest Kitchen Zeal (all fish) 1/4 cup with 1/2 cup of green beans in the morning and alternating Wellness Core Ocean or other high quality no grain fish kibble 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup of green beans in the evening. I also give low calorie no grain treats. Within six months he was back to being his trim and fit self. In fact, people comment about how my Quakey at five years of age has no fat and is all muscle and is very high energy and fit. I had read that overweight dogs have a 70% increased chance of getting cancer and I want to make sure I do all I can to keep my Quakey very healthy. Just because so many dogs are overweight does not mean your dog has to be!!
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    Wow 2-3 times a week is definitely not enough. My shiba and my BF's dog get 3-4 walks a day PLUS dog park every day (we don't have a yard) and hikes on the weekends. Rain or shine. I don't think this is above and beyond, this is pretty much what you need to do when you have a dog.

    I wouldn't personally buy any "weight management" foods. Just make sure it's a high quality, grain free food and your shiba only gets a fixed amount per day. My shiba's daily intake: 1/2 cup of Taste of the Wild pacific salmon dog food, a small amount of canned food as a high value treat (for letting me clip her nails or put her cone on), and 1 chew--usually a bully stick or raw chicken foot.

    My shiba looks like a chunker because her fur is super thick and fluffy, so honestly I am constantly worried about her appearing overweight. She is 20.8 lbs.
  • to all the people who are walking their dogs 3-4 times a day, are yall retired? some of us have to work? lol
    But I do want to up her activity and realistically think i can get in 2-3 walks a day.
    1 before work, one after work and one before bed.

  • Here we go. Pictures as promised of my chunky girl. image baby pic
  • niki82niki82
    Posts: 434
    That's a baby pic. Your pup looks perfect in this pic. She looks like a baby should look. How old is your girl now? Do you have pics of what she looks like now? :)
    Post edited by niki82 at 2016-08-01 04:07:17
  • niki82niki82
    Posts: 434
    Lol! We must have been posting at the same time!! :) yeah your girl is over weight. Was it a gradual weight gain or fast? You should definitely take her to the vet for a check up.. Just to rule out any medical issues and also see how her overall health is. It's very difficult to be overweight, it can cause a domino effect to happen and their dog ends up with multiple health problems and of cause heart disease risk rises. Honestly? You need to find time to exercise your girl, beginning immediately. How much does she eat in a day and is she getting treats and human food also? Our dogs can only be as healthy as we let them be.
    Post edited by niki82 at 2016-08-01 04:17:57
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8254
    Yikes. Yes, she is definitely overweight (by a good 8-10 pounds by the looks of it).

    I second the vet visit. This should be done not only to rule out any health issues causing the weight gain, but to ensure that she is healthy enough to start a weight loss routine.

    As for asking about being retired and walking your dog 3-4 times a day... ??? I work full time in addition to training heavily for a demanding sport and still have plenty of time to walk my dogs 3-4 times a day. It is all about prioritizing and time management.

    So, you will need to decrease her food intake. For a comparison, my girls (8 and almost 12) get 1/2 cup of good quality, grain free food in the AM and another 1/2 cup in the PM. They will also get some low calorie treats in the afternoon and evening during training sessions. (I use Little Stars, since they are tiny and super low calorie.)

    In the morning, the pups get a good 45-60 minute walk before I leave for work. They get a 20 minute walk at lunch. They get a 15-30 minute walk (depending on my training schedule) when I get home from work. In the evening before bed, they get another 45-60 minute walk. Some days, these walks are more "meandering" where the pups get to sniff and play around. Some days, the walks are more fitness oriented, and we walk constantly with breaks for pottying. This keeps them both mentally and physically stimulated. Sure, I spend 2-3 hours a day walking my dogs, but their health and well being is important to me.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    Two walks a day would help if your not able to do more. With it being hot I usually do early am walk and then late evening walk so it's bit cooler. plus some indoor play time. or some play time with flirt pole toy and some retrieving toys etc.

    Saya lost some lbs and she does look bit nicer I think she has bit more energy too. though atm with it being hot she is not as energetic she loves winter.

    I usually do am and pm walk and small walk before bedtime. Sometimes just two.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2016-08-01 11:06:28
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1201
    If you get a dog you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time on your dog, with everything from training and playing to exercising and making that dogs life as fulfilling as possible. I am always surprised when people get dogs and then are surprised that it is not enough to keep it as just a cuddly accessory in the house. And I don't mean to point fingers at anyone special.

    A normal weekday I take Juni to doggy daycare in the morning, which means roughly a ten minute bike ride for her and about 20 minute walk. At doggy daycare she gets an hour walk in the morning and 20-30 minutes after lunch. I pick her up and we walk home, depending on what route we choose it is around an hour. Then in the evening we go out one more time, that walk can be anything from ten minutes to an hour, usually more like 20-30 minutes. After the last walk she usually wants to play something.

    What have I sacrifized for this? Not much, I may get up a bit earlier in the mornings, I don't watch as much TV probably as I could have and sure I may have to say no to some activities, after work things with colleagues for example but I actually rather spend time with her than them....
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3450
    3-4 walks a day is average for working people. That's how many walks I'm able to squeeze in when I worked full time from 7-5 on top of having an infant.

    @Juni

    Totally agree... Wish there was some test you need to take before getting pets.
    :-S
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1201
    And I take back the statement that I have to say no to some activities. It is more a question of planning ahead. And making sure I compensate later. If Juni doesn't get the exercise she is used to she'll need more indoor activities instead.
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    @CoastalShiba420 lol what? I'm not retired. I'm an attorney who works full time in addition to nights and weekends. Walks go: before work in the morning, around noon most days (BF is on a different work schedule than me so he does this one), after work, and before bed at night. I agree with @sunyata, it's about prioritizing. Having a dog is not an afterthought for me, keeping her physically and mentally stimulated is one of my top priorities. Plus, if I don't thoroughly exercise her, i.e., take her to the dog park, she is more annoying and destructive at home and I can't get anything done.
  • Ham gets three walks a day. He might get four if my work schedule is weird. I am currently working on my Ph.D., so I am working more than 40 hours a week to finish my research and graduate. Not only that, I am a synthetic chemist; so, chemistry determines what hours I go to work most of the time. But I make sure Ham is well taken care of before planning anything else in my schedule.

    He gets a walk and a trip to the dog park in the morning (it's always empty in the morning). We're outside for about an hour or two. If I have odd work hours that day, a dog walker will come over and give him a short walk at lunch time. He gets a short walk when I get home followed by some dedicated indoor play time and training; it's hot outside this time of year. Then before bed, we go for a longer walk around the neighborhood.

    But I made sure that I could uphold this type of schedule before getting a dog.
  • I get to take Bruce to work with me so I'm going to say he is a highly active shiba. Between the walk in the morning and roaming through the office all day and the fact that we live in NYC so we walk to and from the station to get home, he is in great health.

    This has already been mentioned multiple times with the posts above, but you should be walking your dog 3-4 times a day. I knew this was going to be part of my daily routine when we got Bruce, whether it's 97 degrees outside or snowing.

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