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Appropriate "pet" Weight?


Guest oldgreymom
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Guest oldgreymom

Hi all. I'm new to the greyhound world and wondering about my dog's weight. He's a big boy. Was 80 pounds at race weight and has put on 7 pounds in the 3 months we have had him. The rescue org said to feed him 4 cups of food a day, but I am wondering if that's too much? He usually gets a few small treats during the day and one milk bone when I leave the house in the morning. No people food. My vet said he looked fine, but "Daniel" is a bit food obsessed and I am concerned with how quickly he seems to have gained. Advice? Is he gaining more because it's summer and he is much less active now? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I'd try @ 3 and 1/4.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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It's better to go off visuals than numbers. Most should gain about 5 pounds, but there are exceptions. Bu hasn't handled his neuter well and lost a bunch of weight before I got him. He's since gained 15 pounds and could handle a couple more. Some are also run thin and some heavier, it all depends on the dog.

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A healthy pet weight indicator for Greyhounds is being able to see the last two ribs, and feel the third to last rib.

 

This. His tuck should be plainly visible from the side, without any drooping or a paunch. Some greys will also have a "dragon back" - where the vertebrae stick out just after the middle. This is normal and does not mean they are underweight. The hip points (those parts of the bone that stick out on either side of the spine) should also be visible.

 

A lot of weight gain is due to the rapid decrease in activity level they experience going from a working/racing environment to an adoption kennel environment. Also, if you tend to give a lot of treats, like we do, you should decrease their meal amounts appropriately. Adding in no or low cal veggies and fruits will add bulk and help them feel more full.

 

Four cups sounds like a lot of food for your general retired racer. Unless he's competing in lure coursing or other very athletic pursuits, he probably doesn't need that much. Fortunately, greys will usually lose weight as fast as they gain it. You should gradually cut back his food until you find a level where he is maintaining good body weight at his current activity level.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest oldgreymom

You have all been very helpful. Thank you. I gave him less food at dinner tonight, so his total for today was around 3 and a half cups. Tomorrow I'll cut both meals by a 1/4 for starters. I also got some green beans and carrots. Any other suggestions for healthy "table" food. He loves apples and cherries... too high in carbs?

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Guest oldgreymom

Ah yes, thanks, Walliered! I am using frozen. I don't even think to buy canned anymore. I am not sure why you can't email me. I'm new to this (obviously) so I'm not sure how to fix anything!!!

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Guest FreeholdHound

I had the same instructions when I brought Harry home (4 cups/day and wet added in). Harry porked up rather quickly lol. It's been a year and he now gets 3cups/ day with some water added. I also adjust by activity level. With our current heat wave I've backed off on his treats due to shorter walks. The weight came off and I can see his ribs & hip points. I believe he's 80 lbs at the moment. His racing weight was 75 lbs. maybe he should lose a pound or two more but he looks good to me.

Welcome to the Cult of Greyhound ! Gotta love the Big Boys <3

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Guest AngelPup

You have all been very helpful. Thank you. I gave him less food at dinner tonight, so his total for today was around 3 and a half cups. Tomorrow I'll cut both meals by a 1/4 for starters. I also got some green beans and carrots. Any other suggestions for healthy "table" food. He loves apples and cherries... too high in carbs?

 

This might be helpful.

healthy-dog-snacks.jpg

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On the other hand, Robin came home at 2 years old and ate 4 cups of food a day for many years with very steady weight. He raced at 74 pounds and stayed steady at 78 until he was at least 7 or 8. (At that point his metabolism and other health stuff started to change, so it was a different story.) Whenever Robin was sick or something and did not eat his four cups a day, he lost weight.

 

So some dogs can and do metabolize 4 cups well. Granted, I'm sure the type of food matters, as some may have different nutritional content and such...

Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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Ah yes, thanks, Walliered! I am using frozen. I don't even think to buy canned anymore. I am not sure why you can't email me. I'm new to this (obviously) so I'm not sure how to fix anything!!!

I believe you need a posting count of 50 before you can PM anyone. Congratulations on your pup!

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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I agree with the recommendation to go by a visual assessment of your dog's body condition, rather than a number. While there may be some differences based on body type, in general, you should be able to see the last 2-3 ribs and the tips of the hip bones. Racing weight can vary quite a bit, with some dogs being kept very lean, and others close to what most would consider pet weight but more muscular. The ones that come off the track on the light side sometimes need to gain a good 5-10 lbs. Others may actually end up being under their racing weight as they lose muscle mass.

 

Each dog's caloric requirements can also change over time and fluctuate based on a number of factors, such as metabolism, hormones, activity level, weather, stress, etc. So even individual dogs don't necessarily have a particular fixed amount of food they need, and you may have to make adjustments based on their weight and body condition.

 

In my experience, most fosters fairly recently off the track need at least 4-6 cups per day (divided into 2-3 meals). Over the first couple months, their metabolism tends to slow down from no longer being in training, the hormones leaving their system after their spay/neuter surgery, and as their stress levels decrease as they settle in to their new home. After this initial period, I find that many retired greyhounds only need 2-4 cups daily, although some may need more if they are larger, are very active, or have a higher metabolism, and it also depends on the caloric content of the food.

 

My girl Willow raced at 56 lbs. Her 'pet' weight is around 57-58 lbs, and she eats about 3 cups of food a day. She's pretty active, running a good bit in the yard, and we also participate in lure coursing and amateur racing.

 

My boy Wiki's racing weight was a muscular 71 lbs. He's much less active than Willow. A good weight for him now is about 64-65 lbs, which he maintains on only 2 1/2 cups of food daily. Here's a recent photo of Wiki. He'd be a bit overweight at the commonly stated "5 lbs over racing weight".

 

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Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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Guest oldgreymom

Thank you AngelPup. That's a handy snack list to print for my DH who keeps asking, "Can he eat this? Can he eat that?" (Hmmmm.... maybe it ISN'T the 4 cups of food a day!) As I look at the picture of Wiki (thank you JJNg) he looks very similar to my Daniel in build. Daniel is quite tall and long. I think perhaps the 86 pound weight may suit him. I am cutting back 1/2 cup a day to make sure he doesn't gain any more, but he definitely doesn't need to lose based on the photos. He still has a nice tuck and I can see those last 2-3 ribs.

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Guest psdirector

We've had our littermate boys for almost 5 months. Hutch has gained three pounds in that time and Tibbs has gained one pound. Hutchis 84 lbs and Tibbs is 79 - they are big boys. They eat 4 cups of food a day, plus Kongs once or twice most days (which brings their total up to about 5 cups of kibble each) and you can still see all of their ribs. We don't feed anything other than Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato kibble and treats because Hutch seems to be sensitive to corn, wheat, chicken and beef. They run in our large yard a lot. They sleep a lot. We give a few very small treats at night (Natural Balance tiny biscuits). I worried at first about their weight gain, but the vet said that since she could see their ribs, they looked fine.

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Guest oldgreymom

We've had our littermate boys for almost 5 months. Hutch has gained three pounds in that time and Tibbs has gained one pound. Hutchis 84 lbs and Tibbs is 79 - they are big boys. They eat 4 cups of food a day, plus Kongs once or twice most days (which brings their total up to about 5 cups of kibble each) and you can still see all of their ribs. We don't feed anything other than Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato kibble and treats because Hutch seems to be sensitive to corn, wheat, chicken and beef. They run in our large yard a lot. They sleep a lot. We give a few very small treats at night (Natural Balance tiny biscuits). I worried at first about their weight gain, but the vet said that since she could see their ribs, they looked fine.

Thanks so much. I can definitely still see his ribs, but I will be keeping an eye and weighing him in at the vet for awhile, just to make sure. He is a VERY tall greyhound. Even other greyhound people have said that to me, so I'm thinking he may be able to carry 85 pounds without a problem!

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