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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18139
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have three dogs and they get fed once a day ,the middle one

Customer Question

I have three dogs and they get fed once a day ,the middle one is a female spayed shauzer,but she is getting very fat ,we feed them Iams dried food for mature dogs she is onlyJust over 6 years old she is full of life playing with the younger dog all day ,and I walk 2/3 miles aday ,what can I do ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Mia is gaining weight despite your best efforts to control her diet and make sure she exercises.
I am glad to hear that she plays and is full of life and seems to have no other health issues. That probably means that she is simply a dog that digests and absorbs the nutrients in her food very efficiently and doesn't require as many calories as other dogs her size and age would. This is not an uncommon problem in Schnauzers, they seem to gain weight quite easily.
Mature dog food does have slightly less calories compared to normal diets, but probably not enough to make a difference for her. She needs a more calorie restricted diet and you may be able to even get her to lose weight by using one. I recommend Hills r/d or Purina Veterinary diets OM. I like these foods because they are calorie restricted but they are also great for dogs that tend to have trouble metabolizing fats and keeping their blood fat levels under control, which Schnauzers often have trouble with.
As far as calorie amounts I find by cutting calories by 10%, at least as a starting point, they don't seem to miss the additional food as much, yet lose weight at a nice, slow, comfortable level.
Your current food should have calories (often labeled as kilocalories) per cup on the label. Figure out how much she is eating now and thus how many calories she is taking in, and then you will be able to figure out what 10% less would be in calories. Read the label on her new food and then you will know how much you need to feed her.
If you are having trouble I will be happy to help.
I also highly recommend feeding two meals a day, splitting the total amount needed into two, smaller meals. Dogs fed once daily tend to overeat, because they are so hungry because it has been a long time since they have eaten. They also have blood sugar peaks after their meal and then a crash between meals which puts their metabolism into calorie storage mode. With two meals a day they have more consistent blood sugar levels and seem to lose weight more easily, and feel more satisfied.
It may help to feed her separately than your other dogs, especially if they don't need to lose weight and don't require a special food. Dogs fed together often eat more, and faster. This is called competitive eating. Dogs fed alone don't have such a drive to overeat.
Best of luck with Mia, please let me know if you have any further questions.