Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Overweight Aussie Girl

by Russ Mosher
(St Augustine, FL)

Molly Bear @ 7+ yrs - I'm a good girl Daddy, even if I don't fit in Mommy's lap!!

Molly Bear @ 7+ yrs - I'm a good girl Daddy, even if I don't fit in Mommy's lap!!

Molly Bear @ 7+ yrs - I'm a good girl Daddy, even if I don't fit in Mommy's lap!!
Molly Bear Sitting Pretty - almost 2 yrs old.
Molly Bear Sleeping - only 7 months old
Molly Bear Frisbee Catch @ 2.5 yrs - Favorite Game

I have a champion blood lines female Black Tri Aussie who (yes I refer to her as if she's a person) is overweight. Her line (a mixture of Caitland Aussies and Lazy L Farms Aussies) seems to run a little big, but I think that at 65 lbs, give or take, that she is too heavy. She will be 9 yrs on July 4th and has been this weight for several years (5-6yrs). We have tried everything we know - primarily Nutro Ultra Weight Management, low calorie night time treat, etc.

We supplement her evening kibbles with a couple table spoons of canned green beans or carrots (low sodium when possible) and fat free low sodium broth and a table spoon or so of Iams tub food. She only gets about 2/3 of a cup of kibble with this.

Breakfast is usually some of said broth, a couple table spoons of 4% cottage cheese and about a cup of kibble.

She does not get nearly enough exercise due to my schecule and the fact my wife can't walk her for health reasons. She gets a couple of 3 1 - 1.5 mile walks a week however. For the last 7 yrs we have lived in a Mfg Home senior community so yards are small.

I just don't know what else I can do. She is a frisbee and any other retrievable toy fiend but her hips bother her now if she plays or runs too hard so most of that is out now.

I need advice on what we can do. Oh, she is fairly tall for an Aussie - maybe 21 inches but is broad and everyone says that she sure doesn't miss any meals does she.

Please help.

Comments for Overweight Aussie Girl

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Weight Management
by: Kathy

Hi there

My Aussie is a complete chow hound too, and must be monitored closely to avoid weight gain. She is about 10 years old and we have things pretty much under control.

I would suggest:

Looking for a higher quality food, grain free if possible, to concentrate the nutrition into a smaller portion. Many high end kibbles offer a 'weight management' or 'senior' formula. Here is an example of a site that rates dog food:

My dog only eats about a cup of kibble a day, which doesn't seem like much, but she is not skinny. She doesn't get snacks either, other than one occasional kibble as a reward.

Get more bang out of her walks. If your girl can handle it, consider a backpack, which you can weigh down to make her work harder while exercising. Kind of like weight training for dogs!

Good luck with this - it's worked for us!

by: Kym

You can definatly increase the veggies!! She can have all the veggies/fruits she wants (for the most part Greenbeans,carrots,brocoli,apples,peas,celery etc. this can be substituted for the kibble(not all of the kibble.
Also, WATCH THE TREATS! Most people dont realize how many calories doggie treats have and this can add up! Especially when they are being given by BOTH/ALL family members.
I may also reccomend a 'treat ball' You can fill these with her regular kibble and she must roll it around to get her food. This adds just a little more excersise and work to her daily routine.
You may also want to get her thyroid checked. This is a simple blood test to decide if she has a thyroid problem, which a very inexpensive drug may help with. This can be fairly common in aussies.
A thorough exam at 7 years, including a full blood panel may be helpful at this time anyway. Cutting potential problems off at the pass is the way to go. Making sure she is not diabetic or has cushings too.
Maybe you could recruit someone to walk her a couple times per week if you are not able.
Excersise and reduced calories are the key. I hope this helps! Good luck!

Green bean diet worked for us.
by: Anonymous

We had very good results with the "green bean diet", but it takes more than a couple of tablespoons of beans to make a difference. If I remember correctly we used about half a can to replace an equal amount of kibble. It worked for our overweight Aussie girl, definitely, and the dogs seem to like the canned green beans.

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