Q. Rudy is my 6-year-old AKC-registered neutered male Miniature Dachshund. He weighs over 40 pounds. We also have two 4-year-old Great Danes. I thought that trying to keep up with them would have thinned Rudy down. Instead, it has just made him solid. Perhaps he has gained muscle? How do I get the weight off Rudy?
A. Just as with humans, every dog has a different metabolism. Some dogs can free feed and maintain an ideal weight. Others are fed a measured amount of low-calorie food and are still overweight. Medical reasons for putting on weight, such as hypothyroidism, should be ruled out if your dog keeps gaining weight despite dietary restriction.
You need to turn your “hot dog” into an “hourglass.” Viewing your dog from above, you should see a just-visible indentation behind his ribs. Dachshunds have a propensity to put on extra weight, and that puts them at increased risk for a back injury.
With two giant breed dogs in your household, I would be concerned that Rudy may be taking advantage of the proportionally large dog food servings. Put Rudy on measured, scheduled feedings, and deny him access to the Great Danes’ food. Hopefully this will lean him down somewhat. Switch to a high-fiber diet if necessary.