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Categories: Feeding a Raw Diet

Q. My vet recommended that my lab lose some weight. Am I doing this the right way? What do you think?
Hi Cindy,

Jake is an 84# lab. He is all muscle. Ever since one of our vets suggested that he lose a little weight, I have been focused (probably too focused) on his weight. (The joke is...the vet is fat!!!) As a lab, and an active one, Jake likes to eat. I give very few snacks, and even then, a snack is raw ...a bone with a little meat on it, sometimes a chicken foot. I feed according to your guide (your vitamins and all), and even then, he licks his bowl clean and continues licking to get every morsel. (I'm actually feeding the amount for a 74 pound dog since that's what the vet recommended he weigh!) The weight issue has pushed me to skin all the chicken and turkey before I feed it to him or grind it. (Yes, I even bought a grinder! :) It's a hassle and it takes the fun out of preparing his food in large quantities. My question: Does the skinning make that much of a difference? If I am feeding the right quantity, should I just leave the skin on? Does he gain anything important, other than fat, from the skin?) I'm thinking that if he gets skin with the meat at the right quantity, perhaps he won't even need a snack now and then. Any advice is a big help.
Many thanks!


A. I never take the skin off, when feeding my dogs. I also don’t really go by a number on the scale, I go by the dog’s physical appearance and how they feel when I put my hands on them.

For a dog that struggles with weight, I’d probably NOT grind their food. I think much of the satisfaction they get is from chewing on the pieces. If you give ground food they gulp it down before they even realize they ate it.

If I need to cut back the calories, I just reduce the amount of food without removing skin. You can also try feeding a lower calorie food, like rabbit. It’s very lean. I find that with my working dogs if I feed rabbit for days in a row they tend to slim down even if I am feeding the same amount as I would of chicken or beef.

Thanks for the kind words! I hope this helps.


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