Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
We ran into our vet and I asked her how Sam looked since it had been a while. She felt him and said he looked a little overweight. She called it “winter pudge”. I was a bit surprised because I don’t think he looks or feels overweight. When I feel him under his fluff (and do the “knuckle test”), I can lightly feel his ribs.
We feed him Fromm Large Breed Puppy Gold, 3 cups per day (1.5 cups morning and at night), which is on the low end of the bag’s feeding recommendation for his weight range. We never free feed. We've done a lot of training over the past couple of months. We use Purebites Chicken (average 10-12 pieces per day) and small pieces of cheese for high reward. We've scaled back since seeing our vet.
He gets at least two hours of walks per day (an hour in the morning and an hour at night) plus some indoor and outdoor playtime in the yard. Some days he also has a playdate.
I’ve attached some photos. He’ll be 14 months this week and weighs 67 pounds (his parents were around the same).
I've never heard of the knuckle test, and it sounds a little confusing and complicated to me. With Poodles, we say, you should be able to easily feel their spines and ribs when you run your fingers over their backs and sides, but you should not be able to see them. You also want to see a tuck-up from the side, which I definitely see in your first photo of Sam. When viewed from above, you should be able to see a defined waistline, as described in this chart (and there are similar charts all over the internet). https://caringvets.com/2018/01/is-my-dog-overweight/
At 14 months, Sam shouldn't be on puppy food any more. Puppy food is always higher in fat and calories than the comparable adult food. I'd switch to the adult version. He also doesn't really need a "large breed" formula. I know the bags say they are for dogs over 50 lbs, but that's marketing. "Large breed" formulas are designed for giant breeds, like Great Danes and Newfoundlands, who are going to go way over 100 lbs at maturity, and who don't reach skeletal maturity until well into their second year.
His caloric intake from the amount of food your are giving him is fine, but of course I don;t know what else he gets in the way of treats, chews, etc.
Hopefully his playtime involves some off-leash running.
I don't always agree with vets about everything, as you well know, lol, but most of them are pretty darned good at assessing body condition. So while it doesn't look or sound to me like Sam is overweight, you might want to keep an eye on it.
Canned green beans work well as a substitute for a portion of their food when you're trying to get some weight off of them, but I don't know that they'd work well as training treats. Some dogs (Jasper for one) need really high value treats to motivate them. You could try.
Good point. Sam also needs high rewards.
We're making the full switch this week to Four Star. Do you think I should substitute a portion for canned beans or am I not there yet? I don't think I am, but I always like to hear other's thoughts.
I'd wait. For one thing, you want to see how he does with 100% of the new food alone. For another, I think you are more at the "watch" stage than the "do something about it" stage regarding Sam's weight.
When Jack's weight would start getting to the "iffy" point, my vet would usually tell me that he shouldn't gain any more, or something like "we want to make sure he doesn't get over X lbs" and then I knew it was time to reverse the trend, but not necessarily put him on a diet.
Makes perfect sense. We have his one year check up in a few weeks so we'll see what the vet says then. I'll keep you posted on his new food. Thank you!
Please do keep us posted, and Happy 14 Month Birthday to Sam on Tuesday!
What about reserving a portion (1/4 cup or so) of his meal kibble to use as training treats? Substitute the volume in his meal with the green beans instead. Kibble would be more motivating than beans for most dogs I would think.
The Fromm puppy kibble is small too which is good for training treats :p
Also - Sam's tummy tuck looks good to me but it's hard to say from the top view if his waist is a bit big or if it's just fluff. It's much easier to tell their body condition by sight when they are wet in the bath lol. Riley looks like a HUGE, fat bear with her 5" long coat but in the bath you can see she is a skinny little thing!
Sam is switching from puppy food to the Fromm Four Star formulas, but most of those are very small too. :)
We use his kibble once in a while for indoor training or in the backyard. Mostly for teaching tricks. For Sam, his kibble is not high reward enough for regular training in the real world (though he loves his food).
Most dogs are the same way. I know Jasper wouldn't give me the time of day if the reward was a piece of his kibble, lol.