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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to this group, I finally found the combination of food my toy actually likes and asks for...

When he was a puppy, we gave him Instinct Raw mixers as a treat or bedtime snack. Little did we know it was almost all he would eat.

Fast forward 2.5 years, and Instinct turned those mixers into complete and balanced meals. When we added them to his Primal and hydrated all with turkey broth, we had a winner.

BUT, he still wants a bedtime snack every night. We try to limit it to 10 of those little pieces, some of which we saved from his daily allotment.

I was reading some poodle groups on facebook, and it seems that with toys, many people give their dog a bedtime snack to keep them from being too hungry and getting hunger pukes.

Except my little guy really doesn't do breakfast. What I do is give him 10 of those pieces as training treats around 10am and he gets nearly all the rest of his food at 4:30pm. Then I give him the balance, plus a few, at bedtime.

Does your toy do this? I'm thinking of feeding him less at dinner so he can have more of it at bedtime. We do need to take a pound off him, and I'm sure giving him excess food at bedtime has contributed to it.
 

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Would he eat breakfast if you offered it? And does he get any other food throughout the day?

I would say that excess weight (on a poodle, at least) is more likely to be from incorrectly portioned human food and/or a lack of daily exercise than from a toy-sized serving of kibble at bedtime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He won't eat it. Every now and then, if I'm portioning out his broth, he will eat breakfast if I use it to hydrate. If I leave it out, unhydrated, he will eat around 1pm or so. Then he ruins his dinner :) He gets no other food, except a small bite of our lunch if it's to his liking.

I give him half an ounce of turkey breast mixed in with his dinner and adjust his dog-food calories to account for it. But I agree, it's difficult to gauge how many calories I'm giving him, particularly since I hydrate with homemade turkey broth.
 

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You could try to keep a food log to track what he eats and adjust accordingly.

I bet our furbabies wish there was a magic pill too, "What do you mean I have to diet AND exercise?!?"
 

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It’s possible he’s not hungry for breakfast because of nausea. A bedtime snack can definitely help with that. But it’s also possible he’s just getting too much food for his size, so he’s self-regulating by skipping breakfast.

Assuming he weighs 9 pounds, and the average human male weighs 180, half an ounce of turkey breakfast with his dinner would be like a human having 10 oz. of turkey breast! That’s a whole meal in itself.

That’s why I say that human food is often the culprit behind poodle weight gain. :) Try imagining every “extra” you give him multiplied by 20, so you can visualize the human equivalent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you. If I use the food as training treats he'll eat it. I would say half the time he does it happily. I try to tell my husband not to share his food, but he's so damned cute my husband falls for it every time. :)

I'm trying a different approach this week... I'm subtracting his usual bedtime snack amount from his dinner to see if that will help. He gets about 110-120 calories a day in dog food 30 in turkey, 10 in treats, and I'm not sure in broth. We try to keep him at about 150-160 calories a day. He's currently 10 pounds, doesn't look too heavy, and the vet wants to see him in 9 or a tiny bit lower.
 

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That doesn’t sound like much. I would think he’d weigh less unless he’s not very active.

Might be worth calculating the calories in the broth you’re giving him, especially if he’s getting it every day.

P.S. This is making me seriously miss having a small dog. They eat so little! How do people afford to feed giant breeds?
 

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Set out all his food for the day, and proportion it into different times of the day.

deacon eats two cups of food, but he eats 4 times a day..
 

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If your dog is overweight, might some of the morning reluctance be rooted in not needing the calories? If so, could you move the turkey meal to the AM to keep her blood sugar up? Then feed her kibbles etc. as training rewards throughout the day.

My big boys didn't eat breakfast either; they preferred to eat their breakfast as lunch. That was no problem for us; we just left dry kibble out until they felt like eating it. With my current dog I am now forced to portion his food into 4 daily meals, as the greedy cat hit 20 pounds after snacking on dog food all day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That doesn’t sound like much. I would think he’d weigh less unless he’s not very active.

Might be worth calculating the calories in the broth you’re giving him, especially if he’s getting it every day.

P.S. This is making me seriously miss having a small dog. They eat so little! How do people afford to feed giant breeds?
It can't imagine how to calculate the broth. There is nothing in it but turkey parts, legs & breasts, and it's sometimes richer than others, though I do water it down if it looks too rich.

I sometimes wish he was bigger so I didn't have to worry about every calorie I put in his mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Set out all his food for the day, and proportion it into different times of the day.

deacon eats two cups of food, but he eats 4 times a day..
I would love to do that, but I feed freeze dried raw and it has to be hydrated. The Instinct Meals portion I give dry as training treats and bedtime snack. I may try feeding it entirely dry, but the manufacturers all recommend hydrating for better nutrient absorption.
 

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Do know the calories of the treats? Because I think they might be more calories each than you think just as an example the tiny cookies and treats I give mine are between 5 to 8 Calories each and you need to include the food your hubby feeds him.
How do you measure the food? I bought a 2 tablespoon scoop to measure their food I feed mine 104 calories of food, and 10 calories of treats and 15 calories of peanut butter daily. Mine get fed at 4:30 am and 5 p.m. yes they do get other treats but that is every few days the odd piece of fruit and veg.

Gilligan might just eat later, but he is still probably eating a little too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If your dog is overweight, might some of the morning reluctance be rooted in not needing the calories? If so, could you move the turkey meal to the AM to keep her blood sugar up? Then feed her kibbles etc. as training rewards throughout the day.

My big boys didn't eat breakfast either; they preferred to eat their breakfast as lunch. That was no problem for us; we just left dry kibble out until they felt like eating it. With my current dog I am now forced to portion his food into 4 daily meals, as the greedy cat hit 20 pounds after snacking on dog food all day.
It is very possible that his bedtime snack is holding him over until around 1pm, and by "forcing" him to train with them at around 10am (or so) we are giving him food when he's not hungry. But he definitely wants that bedtime snack... he actually gives me the stare for it, and sometimes barks. I may have to try to move his dinner time to later and let him eat when he's hungry for breakfast or lunch.

We feed him dinner at 4:30 so it frees us up to go out to dinner and/or cook.
 

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It can't imagine how to calculate the broth. There is nothing in it but turkey parts, legs & breasts, and it's sometimes richer than others, though I do water it down if it looks too rich.

I sometimes wish he was bigger so I didn't have to worry about every calorie I put in his mouth.
You remove the skin? Or skim all the fat? I can see how this would add up quickly for a toy. I can also see how it would get tedious tracking it all so carefully! That’s where ample daily activity can really help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You remove the skin? Or skim all the fat? I can see how this would add up quickly for a toy. I can also see how it would get tedious tracking it all so carefully! That’s where ample daily activity can really help.
I make the soup with the skin on, strain it when done, and put it in the fridge for at least 24 hours so I can get rid of all the fat. BUT, turkey isn't that fatty to start with, so there isn't much to skim. It's not like chicken soup with has a lot of fat.

We are trying to give him more activity, but he's a lazy one. He doesn't want to walk very far. I'm thinking of taking him to day care for a few hours, but he's not well socialized either - but we're working on it and he's getting better. Our neighbors got dogs within the last couple of years, and he's bee playing with them. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, we couldn't even let them play in our homes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Do know the calories of the treats? Because I think they might be more calories each than you think just as an example the tiny cookies and treats I give mine are between 5 to 8 Calories each and you need to include the food your hubby feeds him.
How do you measure the food? I bought a 2 tablespoon scoop to measure their food I feed mine 104 calories of food, and 10 calories of treats and 15 calories of peanut butter daily. Mine get fed at 4:30 am and 5 p.m. yes they do get other treats but that is every few days the odd piece of fruit and veg.

Gilligan might just eat later, but he is still probably eating a little too much.
Yes. We give dehydrated apple, and each slice is about 5 calories. We give him mini milk bones after dinner at 5 calories each. I don't measure the food - I weigh it and since I use different proteins every day from Primal, I have a chart telling me how much Instinct I need to add based on the Primal protein. It generally is 22 grams of food a day, plus the turkey, broth, and treats.

Your guys are smaller than Gilligan. Isn't Leonard around 5 pounds? Gilligan was supposed to grow up to be 7-8 pounds. I think I grew him too much :) But it's definitely a result of him refusing to eat for the first 1.5 I had him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I looked up the calories in homemade turkey broth.. It's really low calorie, as in 10 calories per cup. I'm adding a tablespoon to his meal every day, plus a half ounce of turkey breast, which is low calorie too.
 
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