Exercising an overweight Brittany .

Health and Medical topics may be posted here.

Moderators: Barb Wright, Lisa

Post Reply
Dave
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 4459
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Montana

Exercising an overweight Brittany .

Post by Dave »

I'm going to get a big loveable 5 yr. old NM Male Brittany into foster and I need some advice on exercise . He doesn't get a lot of exercise right now and is a chub ie: about 10-15 lbs. overweight . I'm not sure of his exact weight the current rescue that has him haven't weighed him . He is in good health , but the first thing I'm going to do is have my vet give him a check and listen to his heart and lungs . I've got the advantage of cool weather and plan on taking him out to exercise along with diet . I plan on getting him to proper weight and in shape and would appreciate input on amount of exercise to start and how quickly to increase . I have a good grasp of medical things . Would it be silly to moniter heart rate ? I certainly don't want any harm to happen because I over did it . :o Thanks 8) Dave

Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
Posts: 6851
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Montana

Post by Barb Wright »

Well, I'd think exercising for short periods several times a day for a couple weeks, rather than long exercise periods. Obviously cut down on the food...say 3-4 very small meals rather than one or two larger ones. Soak the food so it is bulky and filling right away...that way he won't feel "deprived" :lol: Don't think I would bother with a heart rate check in a dog so young, unless he seems to have real difficulty catching his breath, or takes too long to recover after exercise.

All I can think of right now....except, if you are going to do a health check with the vet you may as well do a thyroid while you are at it. Though at his age it is most likely just too much food and not enough exercise :roll:
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Karen_P
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1792
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Post by Karen_P »

Dave, remember dogs are the same in people in that the heavier they get, the slower their metabolism, the less they move, the more weight they gain, the slower their metabolism, etc., etc., etc.

We've been doing the battle of the bulge with Zach for what seems years, and we're finally making progress. He's still very inactive for a Brittany, but on a cup of food a day (1/2 cup in the AM, 1/2 cup in the PM), and 2 pet tab vitamins a day, he's making progress slowly but surely. Now Zach's ideal weight is probably somewhere around 40 pounds and he was up to 49 at one point. I'm gonna guess he's down to 45 now, but we've been on this regimen for several months.

I think I'd concentrate on diet, carefully measure his food (we have a measuring cup in the food bins instead of a scoop), give him plenty of opportunity to exercise but I wouldn't make it a priority until you take some weight off of him. His activity level should increase as his weight decreases. I'd also take him to the vet in 2-3 weeks for a weigh in.

I know with Zach, it's been terribly frustrating. We did wind up switching him off of Flint River Ranch and back onto Purina One as he didn't loose an ounce on FRR over several months of careful portioning, but as soon as he went onto Purina One, he started to drop it...slowly, but it is coming off.

And a good vitamin is a must. Where Courage and Blaze get 1 pet tab a day, Zach gets 2 because his diet is so restricted.
Image
Home of DC Britt Haven's Blaze of Glory
http://www.woodlandbrittanys.com

Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
Posts: 6851
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Montana

Post by Barb Wright »

Another afterthought here.....something to keep in mind with dogs that have not been getting the proper, frequent amount of exercise is this: they are much more prone to injury because of poor muscle tone. For this reason, after long periods (sometimes this is just a week) of little or no exercise, they should not be forced into, or even allowed, a sudden strenuous, difficult, or prolonged exertion period. Proper conditioning for dogs is just the same as for any athelete...start slow and small and then continue to build toward strength and endurance.

Something I'll throw in here for hunters (which is probably preaching to the choir :wink: ....the hunting dogs also need to be kept in condition year round, and if not, then a conditioning period leading up to hunt season will prepare the muscles and toughen the feet for the arduousness of the hunt. Also, dogs that have been crated for several hours, such as in transit to the hunt area (or hiking, swimming, running, etc.) should be given a chance for "warm-up" exercises, even just bouncing around, jumping up on you, whatever, just to get the kinks out, the muscles heated up and stretched, the blood moving. Usually this is not a problem as most dogs who know something keen is going to happen are already so jacked/jazzed you can't hardly hold them down :lol:

Anyway, just thought I'd toss these reminders on the table :wink:
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Dave
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 4459
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Montana

Post by Dave »

Hi, I didn't get that dog , but got an update from the foster that did . He is 71 lbs. :o . He has the good Brittany disposition and loves to play fetch with the wonderful ladies children that has him . I told her about the board and hope she has time to read these posts and she pops in here .Thanks for the input and I'll cut and paste all the info in an email if she wants some good reading . :D 8) Dave

Dave
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 4459
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Montana

Post by Dave »

Well I didn't get the dog I orinally posted about , but am evercising Molly who weighs 90+ lbs. At present her tolerance is about a half mile at a good walking rate . Actually the first part with her pulling me cause she is so excited to go :o :roll: Anway about the last two blocks she is walking beside me and has her head level or slightly down . I've never had a dog this heavy and was curious when she slows to my pace to just walk beside me should I stop and make her stand there to monitor her breathing and pulse rate ? Does anyone know the approximate resting pulse rate of a Brittany ? I intend on using human exercise guidlines and see if I can work her at 20 to maybe 40 beats per minute above resting heartrate . Am I being to technical . I trully worry about this dog being so overweight . :? Dave

Karen_P
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1792
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Post by Karen_P »

Dave, I would think you could check Levi's pulse and respirations in a resting state and then lower it slightly to compensate for Franny's age.

I think I'd compare it to Franny's actual vitals to be sure.

You might also bring some water with you on your walks. Since she's so overweight, she might require a drink 1/2 way through for a "recharge".
Image
Home of DC Britt Haven's Blaze of Glory
http://www.woodlandbrittanys.com

Dave
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 4459
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:25 pm
Location: Montana

Post by Dave »

Good idea , I haven't been packing water . The Levi Pulse and respirations are also a great idea . He is a perfectly healthy and almost in shape youngster . I know he runs like the wind and barely stops unless he cuts scent . :D Dave

Post Reply