Trying to put some weight on my old doggie

We sure do! And we’ll do just about anything for them.

Update: yesterday the Vet said Sweetie had put on a few ounces and she felt “meatier” on her sides. Her dinosaur spine is still protruding a lot-- I think that’s permanent. I’d like to see a little padding around it.

Today she ate like a horse. She had four satin fingers and a tub of wet food (pretty small tubs) and then about an hour later she wanted another tub. The satin fingers must be pretty filling. I’m thawing out more fingers for supper. I’m like the Yiddishe Mama, happy when they “Essen, essen!”

Tell some more old doggie stories, if you have them.

I’d be careful about feeding too many fingers - they have a high fat content and too much fat suddenly can cause pancreatitis. I’d must them up with her normal food. Maybe even in her kibble if you can try that.


My neighbor slaughtered pasture raised chickens yesterday for a special order that specifically didn’t want giblets. She saved them for me.

The dogs will be getting liver treats for a few days, then gizzards. And I’m making chopped liver as an appetizer for our dinner.

I’m putting weight on everyone.

Things like the fingers are best used to stimulate feeding behavior. Ella eats a piece of liver, then continues eating her Mericks Dry. If she slows down I give another treat as a bump.

Ella also will eat more if I hold her dish at her shoulder height and praise her while she eats. Spoiled?

Do y’all think 3-4 fingers a day are too many? Each finger is about one ounce. I didn’t use 80/20 ground beef, I used 15% fat totally grass fed beef. I do mix the fingers with other wet food, specifically Natural Balance.

From the OP:

I’ve backed off on the rotisserie chicken, as she wasn’t that wild about it. The Natural Balance has veggies in it. She has NO interest in kibble any more.

She doesn’t scarf down all of her food at once. She’ll leave some in the dish and come back an hour or so later for more. She doesn’t lick the bowl clean, which is fine with me. Even leaves bits of the fingers. She’s never been a chow hound.

And pray, why not?? Spoil the heck out of her!

I’m having a blast doing it!

My daughter adopted another dog about six months ago, out of Texas! The owner died. She had six little dogs, one of which my daughter adopted and had flown to PA. What a beautiful story. The morbidly obese chihuahua/terrier mix has been given the opportunity to exercise and eat healthy and is now at an ideal weight. Old dogs are very often the best dogs out there.

ThelmaLou - Did you mix in the vegetable oil, too? When I was making it, I think I used 73% ground beef, the ultra cheap stuff (that’s now the price steak used to be!). So you’ve reduced the fat by a lot right there. And of those 4 oz, at least half (by volume) is cereal. You’re probably fine - I just remember the vet warning me when dogs snatched a lot of something off the counter, that sort of thing.

kayaker - I used to have a cat that wanted me to pet her while she ate.


I used mostly olive oil and some Dreamcoat, which is Omega-3 and some other healthy oils.

Re the cat: I can see it now, she’s eating and you’re petting her with one hand while gently waving a palm leaf fan over her head… and humming a sweet melody at the same time.

As I post this from my kindle, I have a cat on my lap.

Yes, this. Three of the 6 greyhounds I adopted over the years were between 8 and 10 years old when I got them. Wonderful dogs. And I’ve used a similar recipe to the satin balls with a couple of my oldies too.

Anyone else have a wandering eater? Cinnamon now likes to grab a mouthful of kibble and bring it into the living room to munch it there, leaving a lovely trail of foods along the way.

We had another old dog, Sam Dog as opposed to my grandparent’s Sam Cat, who did the same thing when he got old. He was a great dog. 20 pound fox terrier. When he was getting up there, we got a puppy golden retriever. The puppy had to wait til Sam was done eating before Wolfgang could start–not our rules, Sam’s. Picture a 80 lb hulk waiting meekly for a frail old dog to finish.

A friend of mine had a big black lab by the name of Misty and another dog about the same size named Bigelow. Misty’s food dish was a small saucepan with a handle. Misty would carry the saucepan by the handle (yeah, a little lopsided) with kibble in it all over the house. After Bigelow had eaten all of his kibble, Misty would carry her pan back to the designated dining area, sit with her front legs wrapped protectively around it, and daintily munch her portion while Bigelow stared enviously.

BTW, I’ve settled on three satin fingers per day for Sweetie, along with as many tubs of Natural Balance as she wants (yesterday was five), a tablespoon of canned pumpkin, nutritional yeast, Dreamcoat, a hard-boiled egg, and some Fresh Pet chicken treats. I might mix in some of her formerly-loved kibble and see if I can sneak some into her. I still have a bunch on hand, although I gave away the 15-lb sack of it I got from Petco, still in the delivery box, to my neighbor who has four dogs.

In the Great Depression, in the '30’s, my grandfather had a lab named Dinah. Dinah ended up with jaundice, very sick. At that point she’s only eating salmon. So on a cop’s pay, being paid in city scrip, not real currency, with probably 8 kids at that point (they went on to have 11) he fed that dog salmon every day.


UPDATE: I’m not thrilled with the progress of Operation Sweetie.

She likes the satin fingers but only if I feed them to her by hand. If I tear one into pieces and put it in her food dish, not interested. She will eat one in little bits from my hand, and I am very happy to do it. I’m feeding her three a day, spread over the day.

The Natural Balance tubs of food are not going over so well any more. I’d like her to eat 3-4 a day, and she might make it through one. She goes to her food bowl expectantly and when I put in a tub of Natural Balance she sniffs at it and walks away. It makes me think the smell of the food isn’t strong enough (i.e., doggy enough). Should I put something on the food to make it smellier-- cod liver oil or something strong? Or maybe it’s too bland with not enough flavor?

She didn’t want rotisserie chicken after a while. Not all that keen on bacon. Still likes hard-cooked egg and will eat that from her food dish. I give her Fresh Pets chicken mini-log treats and she likes those fine.

This afternoon I gave her half a can of Merrick Birthday Paw-ty (yeah :roll_eyes:) and she gobbled down most of that. I went to the grocery store and bought five different cans of dog food that listed meat or meaty ingredients among the first five ingredients, including as the first ingredient. Maybe she wants more variety. She ate the same flavor kibble every day for years, and maybe she’s fed up and isn’t going to take it any more.

@kayaker Maybe I should look for those Dollar General burritos.

She’s not acting sick or mopey or anything. She sleeps til almost noon, which is fine with me. And when she gets up, she seems alert, responsive, and peppy (as peppy as her old owner anyway). She comes to me to let me know she wants a walk. She usually poops during our walk. :+1:t4:

I’d be interested in any more ideas. (And, of course, more doggy stories, too.)