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Fostering overweight dogs


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#1 Hypnic Jerk

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:06 PM

We visited the ILs over the weekend.  They live 5 hours from us.  Their King Charles Cavaliers are massive.  My jaw dropped when I saw them as I'm sure they are now bigger than when I last saw them and at that point the ILs were working on getting the weight down.  They are never taken for walks, MIL has limited mobility so can't do it.  FIL doesn't have the interest.

IL's stayed with us for a while.  SIL was looking after them and said she was making progress but it's all gone back on them.

I want to take care of them for a while.  Get them walking each day and have their health monitored by a vet.  MIL is very keen, FIL not so much but we could get him over the line.  DH is against it.

His reasons
  • They stink.  And they do something shocking, you can be meters away from them and still smell them
  • I can't be trusted to not let them in the house.  They are outdoor dogs at home, and I don't particularly love these dogs anyway, concern for their welfare is my motivation so I won't be sneaking them in (unlike the staffy whole stole my heart)
  • the garden
  • dog poo.
BIL's parents live near us and he's said he can bring them with him when he next comes down.

I'd add a photo of the dogs but I've never done photos before.  
Any ideas on how to swing DH around?

Edited by Hypnic Jerk, 07 November 2019 - 04:14 PM.


#2 Living Type

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:11 PM

I think a better solution would be working with your parents to help give them a better lifestyle, rather than a short stint.
Could you take them from a walk from their house and/or get a dog walker? Have they been taken to a vet to have food recommendations for them?

#3 gettin my fance on

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:13 PM

Do they smell because they need a bloody good wash?

Or could it be a health issue that is causing them to smell?

What about taking them to a vet for evaluation and then make a decision.

#4 MarciaB

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:13 PM

I think it sounds like they need a good Vet check.

I have 2 Cavs and they do not smell!  Having said that - they can get very funky ears if you don't clean them - and this can progress to ear infections.  So that needs checking.  Same with teeth - gum problems can also cause them to be whiffy.  

So that may solve the smelly problem.

As for the weight - again - the Vet will guide you how best to tackle.  You can either just cut down their food and see how that goes or else you can buy the special "Metabolic" dry food which apparently is good.  My vet suggested for my 2 when they needed to drop 1kg each - to reduce food by 20% - then check in 2 weeks.  If they drop a bit - carry on.  If no change cut back again.  

Re exercise - just be warned - they aren't typically great walkers (mine go for a walk every day - but they are such bloody sniffers I can't fathom it is exercise) - but they do love to play with a ball so we get them doing that in the yard every day as well.  

All the best to get the dogs in great condition - you are a very kind person for having a go.

#5 #notallcats

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:15 PM

If they are washed, will they still stink?  Is it the fur, or just general body odour?

Is the plan for them to go back to the in-laws?  Is it likely they will follow up if you do get their weight down, or will it all just go back to their old lifestyle?  I don't see the point if it's likely they just go back to normal.  

It sounds like they can't really care for the dogs anymore, perhaps a more permanent solution is needed.

#6 Hypnic Jerk

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:16 PM

I've edited my post.  We live far from the ILs.  FIL feeds the dogs and there is no telling him, gently or otherwise that he is overfeeding them.  We've all tried.
SIL isn't in a position to take them.

#7 Silverstreak

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:17 PM

You are a sweetie pie!

I think the vet check is a good idea, to see if there are any underlying issues.

If your MIL has mobility issues and your FIL is not interested in the dogs, chances are they're not getting shampooed and groomed as much as they should.  Can your PIL outsource and get a dog walker to take them out a couple of times a week at least, as well as a mobile dog wash at least once a month or so?

#8 born.a.girl

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:18 PM

I think you need to establish first what the smell is.  Our dog had his teeth cleaned not long ago and went from a dog you didn't want to get too close to, to one with minty fresh breath.

I know there can be issues with anal glands, too, and anyone having to deal with the solution to that at home would want to be very fond of the dog.

Could your MIL be encouraged to get them to have a vet checkup first?  Presumably they have their annual shots etc.

#9 Silverstreak

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:21 PM

Or do you think you want to take the dogs permanently? Sounds like the dogs will keep each other company. Hopefully regular vet checks and grooming will get rid of the "doggy" smell. As for dog poo, eh, if you have a big backyard, I would not worry too much.

As for dogs not being inside, I don't think it's such a bad thing for dogs to be inside the house, as long as they're toilet trained and well behaved. You can always get dog beds, put blankets on furniture and crate at night, if necessary.

All the best and I hope you get the outcome you want. Good on you for looking out for the doggies.

ETA, just reread your post about concerns about your garden, could you fence off any particular areas, to protect your plants?

EFS

Edited by Silverstreak, 07 November 2019 - 04:23 PM.


#10 MarciaB

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:27 PM

Also - with your FIL and food - is he overfeeding them at meals or just treats?

If meals one good strategy is to get the dry food and measure it out and bag it up in ziplocks.  Then he just needs to tip the little bag in the bowl and done.  

If it is treats - then the vet is best to talk to him about this - he could take some dry food (from the measured out bag) and use that instead.

#11 Paddlepop

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:28 PM

Healthy dogs won't smell much at all. A damn good bath and grooming, ear checks, teeth checks and anal gland checks should clear up bad smells.

Dog poo can be picked up. Assign a weekly poo patrol pick up to the children if you have children. Do it the day before bin day.

Do they dig up the garden at the PILs? If they don't do it there they probably won't do it at your place either.

Sounds like you won't let them in the house anyway, so DH can relax about that.

I think that it's a wonderful thing that you want to help get the dogs healthy. Perhaps long term they need to be rehomed if PIL aren't willing to pay for a dog walker to take them out at least a few times per week, and if FIL won't stop being a d***head about overfeeding them.

#12 #notallcats

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:29 PM

If the dogs are otherwise happy, and the plan is just to go back to overfeeding them, I'd just leave them be.  I think it might be a bit unfair to everyone to remove them from their home/owners, make them diet, get use to walks, etc and then just go back to normal.  I know you're intentions are good but beyond a vet check, I'd leave it be.

#13 casime

Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:44 PM

Measure out the food into individual meals.  

Book a regular dog walker to come.

Book a mobile groomer to come.

#14 Hypnic Jerk

Posted 08 November 2019 - 07:23 AM

View PostLiving Type, on 07 November 2019 - 04:11 PM, said:

I think a better solution would be working with your parents to help give them a better lifestyle, rather than a short stint.
Could you take them from a walk from their house and/or get a dog walker? Have they been taken to a vet to have food recommendations for them?

If we lived in the same town as them this is the approach I'd take

View Postgettin my fance on, on 07 November 2019 - 04:13 PM, said:

Do they smell because they need a bloody good wash?

Or could it be a health issue that is causing them to smell?

What about taking them to a vet for evaluation and then make a decision.
I don't know what's causing them to smell, but if I took them I'd have a mobile dog wash here on their arrival then straight up to see a vet for a once-over.

View PostMarciaB, on 07 November 2019 - 04:13 PM, said:

I think it sounds like they need a good Vet check.

I have 2 Cavs and they do not smell!  Having said that - they can get very funky ears if you don't clean them - and this can progress to ear infections.  So that needs checking.  Same with teeth - gum problems can also cause them to be whiffy.  

So that may solve the smelly problem.

As for the weight - again - the Vet will guide you how best to tackle.  You can either just cut down their food and see how that goes or else you can buy the special "Metabolic" dry food which apparently is good.  My vet suggested for my 2 when they needed to drop 1kg each - to reduce food by 20% - then check in 2 weeks.  If they drop a bit - carry on.  If no change cut back again.  

Re exercise - just be warned - they aren't typically great walkers (mine go for a walk every day - but they are such bloody sniffers I can't fathom it is exercise) - but they do love to play with a ball so we get them doing that in the yard every day as well.  

All the best to get the dogs in great condition - you are a very kind person for having a go.
Thanks for the tips

View Post#notallcats, on 07 November 2019 - 04:15 PM, said:


Is the plan for them to go back to the in-laws?  Is it likely they will follow up if you do get their weight down, or will it all just go back to their old lifestyle?  I don't see the point if it's likely they just go back to normal.  

It sounds like they can't really care for the dogs anymore, perhaps a more permanent solution is needed.

The spoken plan would be for them to go back to the ILs, and the plan would not likely be followed.  I'd say MIL would be relieved to have them gone and being cared for.

View PostSilverstreak, on 07 November 2019 - 04:17 PM, said:

You are a sweetie pie!   Awww, thanks

If your MIL has mobility issues and your FIL is not interested in the dogs, chances are they're not getting shampooed and groomed as much as they should.  Can your PIL outsource and get a dog walker to take them out a couple of times a week at least, as well as a mobile dog wash at least once a month or so?
Nope -  no disposable income.  FIL would be greatly offended if we paid for it too.  Any options that involve telling/advising them what to do will not be followed.  Prior experience tells us this

View Post#notallcats, on 07 November 2019 - 04:29 PM, said:

If the dogs are otherwise happy, and the plan is just to go back to overfeeding them, I'd just leave them be.  I think it might be a bit unfair to everyone to remove them from their home/owners, make them diet, get use to walks, etc and then just go back to normal.  I know you're intentions are good but beyond a vet check, I'd leave it be.

ILs do not have the money to pay anyone for dog walking or grooming.  Any options involving telling/advising them what to do will fall on deaf ears and will not be effective.  I've known these people for 20 year and believe me when I say there is one very strong personality involved that everyone dances around.  Paying for these services ourselves would be met with great offence.

ILs don't have a garden for the dogs to get into, they never have so I guess this is an unknown.  Cavies aren't particularly diggy, are they?

MIL has asked me to convince DH to take them.  They are actually her dogs, FIL wasn't involved in the decision to get them.

In terms of what would happen to the dogs afterwards I'd say if it was working well they would stay here with us.  I can't see them going back to the ILs although we'd have to start there.

Sorry for the drip-feeding, but one other factor is DS.  He is autistic, poor verbal skills.  He is a VERY easy child to parent.  He is fascinated by dogs but also very scared of them.  Each time we have visited the ILs over the past few years he's gotten closer and closer to them, this last visit it was "where's DS?"  He's outside with the dogs, telling them to sit down (they were lying down). He's been spotted crouching down next to them patting them.  I see an opportunity for DS with these dogs.  Another conversation point, something he can write about at school.  MIL sees this too, she's been watching.

But in terms of convincing DH, he's not a dog person.

#15 Silverstreak

Posted 08 November 2019 - 07:52 AM

Just read your update. Sounds like the best solution will be if you take the dogs for a holiday that ends up being more than a holiday. Also sounds like your DH might not want to be that involved with the dogs, if he is not a dog person, although he might come around, in time.

So, if you're prepared to take the dogs long term and are also prepared to do the bulk of the feeding, grooming, dog walking and vet appointments, I say go for it!

All the best to you and the doggies xo

#16 #notallcats

Posted 08 November 2019 - 10:53 AM

With your update, yes I would take them for sure.  Sounds like a lovely relationship is developing with the dogs and your son, and that would be my selling point to your dh.  Good luck!




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