'Hearty Eater'...sorry, long post - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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'Hearty Eater'...sorry, long post

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm worried that my dog is heading for a weight problem. I want him to live a long and healthy life. (He's 1 1/2 now.) I know weight can shorten lifespan and I don't want to do that!

I've never had a dog before, so am not sure what is best. And, thankfully, my dog has no health issues.
He was large for a Havanese as a puppy, so I was expecting him to grow, but he's now 17.5 lb.
I am feeding him a diet he LOVES (Westcoast Canine Life...maybe only available in BC, Canada???) with added veggies and salmon, which we catch. When we went away in the summer, he refused to eat kibble, which I could pack. He lost 2 lb.
I'm feeding in the am and the pm.
We do agility and canine freestyle and Tucker is more of a food reward guy than a play with a toy guy. But, he isn't a dog to beg at the table, etc. He's a really good boy!!!

So, my questions for you guys are .....
how do I know when he's becoming overweight.
I hear Havanese don't tend to overeat. Is this true?
Should I switch to one feeding a day?
I've been gradually increasing the raw veggies in his diet with his Canine Life Meat Patty, but his weight has continued to climb. So, how large can these male dogs get?

Thanks for any advice!!!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 01:07 AM
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Can you still feel his ribs (without having to push to get to them)? If yes, his weight is fine. There are Hav on here that easily top 20 pounds. Not true that they won't overeat, just like any breed some will gobble any food they can get and others are picky eaters.

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 01:19 AM
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Racquet is a hearty eater and loves loves food. He is 21 pounds and a big hav.
He is not fat.

I feed Racquet twice a day and give him several treats during the day.
Most hav's do not overeat since they are so picky and the small percentage like ours adore food.
Just keep checking to see if you can feel his ribs.
Racquet would prefer to toss his bully stick then toss a toy...that is how he greets me.

Elayne and Racquet

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I am going to work on using a toy as a motivator more often.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:28 PM
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Hi, I just noticed another person from Vancouver Island. I have been away in Toronto for awhile so have not posted. Welcome. Did you get your dog from Elite? Our dog Chico is fourteen months old and weighs about eleven pounds. His father was ten pounds and his mother eight pounds. The vet says he is fine and we can feel his ribs.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 01:39 PM
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As a Havanese Owner with a BIG 22.6 lb boy who is also a little pudgy at almost 3 years... I would encourage you to deal with this now...especially if you can't feel his ribs. It is a lot easier when the younger they are.

All dogs are different but here is what I learned while dealing with Cash, perhaps it will help you.

Cash has lost 1.5 lbs (he was 24lbs...yikes) and he is a chow hound. I found that kibble, more specifically the simple carbs in kibble, even the potato in high protein kibbles made him ravenous...he would be scouring the kitchen for crumbs and whining at the food cabinets. It broke my heart. When I switched to raw he was much more satisfied with the same calories. I also ration (for myself) the treats he gets in a day. It is amazing how many treats you can give without knowing it. And I add lightly cooked green bean's to his meals to fill him up. Dogs can digest cooked greenbeans better than raw.

A 17lb dog with average activity level needs 345 calorie's a day according to the Nature's Variety site (and that includes treats) (they have an an easy calculator which tells you how much food to feed) Here's the guide if you want to play with it... Even if you don't feed their food it will give you a ball park (each ounce of their raw has 65 calories


Another thing I learned trying to slim down Cash was that Bully sticks are loaded with calories (29 calories an inch) so a 5 or 6 inch bully has the same calories as a meal. So my boys now only get a 1/2 a bully once a week.

I also consulted a canine nutritionist who encouraged fish oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin B and acidophilus. This seemed to give him more energy. you can check her out at
betterdogcare.com. I found her to be very helpful.

good luck, let us know how it goes.

Missy, Jasper & Cash
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Deejay,
Yes, I got Tucker from Elite! Small world, ay? Maybe we'll meet sometime on a walk. That would be fun. My dog's dad is Bucca and his mom is Leawa....maybe we're even related!

Thanks so much Missy for the information. I've been adding lots of raw veggies to his dinner to help fill him up. He has cooked beans in his meat patties as well as other veggies and apple. I think I've just been overfeeding. I'm going to make his patties much smaller next baking day. I've added fish oil for quite awhile, too, hoping his coat would get the benefit.
So, great information and much appreciated!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 01:48 PM
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Do you walk him? My Havanese loves to eat but a mile or 2 walk a day keeps her weight where I want it which is on the slim side. Especially for performance dogs-agility dogs-you do not want them carrying extra weight.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 02:00 PM
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Welcome to the forum fellow Canadian!
You never did answer if you could feel the ribs easily? Does he feel all pudgy like or is he lean and muscular? How many ounces are those raw patties you feed him? And how much are you feeding a day?


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, we walk. I've been lax lately, for NO GOOD REASON. But, yesterday we walked for half an hour at a very good clip. Hopefully we're getting back on track. I really do need to get back to this as he's a great companion for my walks.
I think that is part of the reason he may have gained weight this summer, too. Thanks for the reminder!

We also have a new dog across the street. He spends a good part of the day in our yard and is becoming a bit too much 'our' dog. When I try to take Tucker for a walk, or to get the mail, he comes along. He won't walk on a leash with us, so we've had to drive to a walk spot as I don't want to be responsible for any accidents. He's a big friendly lab, and hopefully won't take a chunk out of Tucker. He definitely is overweight. (I think I'm going to have to talk to the new neighbours. Not a good way to say welcome to the neighbourhood, is it? I ate the box of chocolates I'd bought to say welcome....they went on holiday right after they moved in, so what's a girl to do? Guess I should get another one to take along.)
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