How can I feed my skinny dog one food and one overweight dog another?

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Some dog breeds, such as the Greyhound or Whippet are naturally slender but, on the other hand, canine obesity is also a real problem. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53 percent of all dogs in the United States are classified as overweight or obese.

Here are some ways to make sure they both get the appropriate number of calories:

• Supervise. If you don’t supervise, you won’t know which dog is eating most of the food and which dog isn’t eating enough. You also won’t know who is eating what; while you’ll need to give the heavier one a low-cal food, you’ll need to get extra calories into the skinny one, such as with a chopped up hardboiled egg or a couple tablespoons of high-quality oil.
• Separate. Dogs will eat anything, even when they aren’t hungry, so the heavier dog may steal and eat the skinny one’s food. In turn, the skinny one may get so distracted and turned off that she refuses to eat. Feeding them together can also cause fights.
• No free feeding. Free feeding is similar to putting your dog in front of the refrigerator all day. She can continue to eat and snack all day, even when she isn’t hungry.
• Give two kinds of treats. The skinny one get satin balls, a mixture of a high-fat meat such as hamburger, together with wheat germ, gelatin and oils. Often used by vets and rescue organizations, an average serving of satin balls contains well over 500 calories. The heavier one gets a tasty, but low-cal treat or reward.
• Supplement the skinny dog’s diet with Nutri-Cal, a thick paste of concentrated vitamins and fish oils that gives an extra boost of calories in a small dose. Some administer it with a syringe; some rub it in the dog’s mouth. Your vet can tell you the best way to use it.

Of course, if your dog starts to suddenly lose weight, take her to your veterinarian for a thorough check up.

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