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I'm struggling to try to get 5-9 pounds off of hannah. she retains water. it has to be. when she stretches you see ribs. she's active and only gets 1 cup of food twice a day...

I'd be very, very surprised indeed if she's retaining more than 5 pounds worth of water. I'd ask your vet. In the meantime, this stuff is pretty basic - you want calories consumed to be lower than calories expended, which means you've got two basic variables - how many calories she eats and how much exercise she gets. It is a heck of a lot easier to reduce calories in than it is to burn significant amounts, and there appear to be some pretty decent low-calorie dog foods around.
The rib thing is a good rule of thumb but dog builds can vary a lot and that needs to be considered. I've got one dog who's got prominent hip bones and ribs, for example. Don't go by eyeballing the dog, put your hands on her and see how she feels. Does she wait nearby while you get her food? That's a good time to give her a good petting and see what you find, because you're more likely to make good feeding decisions if you're thinking about the dog's condition at the time you're putting her dinner together. This dog may get by on very, very little feed and you're overfeeding her. Forget the "I'm only feeding her " stuff - think about her condition and not what's in the scoop.

Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

Prouder than ever to be a member of the reality-based community
The rib thing is a good rule of thumb but dog builds can vary a lot and that needs to ... and ribs, for example. Don't go by eyeballing the dog, put your hands on her and see how she feels.

Nessa - Melinda is right. Have Sarah give an opinion or bring Hannah by some Saturday morning and let me give her a once over.

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
http://www.animalhumanesociety.org/adoption/detail?id=358522 Just how does a dog get this big?

I noticed that the reason for surrender was "inadequate facilities". They must have run out of food or something.

or the dog got too fat to navigate the steps to the backyard.

i have a former coworker who got her lab that way. poor dog was over
100 pounds when she came in to be put down because she couldn't do thesteps to the yard anymore and was pottying in the house. last i saw her she weighed around 60 pounds. it was just appropriate feeding and low-key exercise, nothing magical. i tell her she should open a fat camp for dogs.

http://underdogged.net
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As a side note, I poked around the site a bit, and this "Pointer mix" one raised my eyebrows:: Looks ... in it" ... I don't see any Pointer, and sure as hell see Pit Bull or other bully breed: http://www.animalhumanesociety.org/adoption/detail?id=359762

that's a dalmatian mix. duh.

http://underdogged.net
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that's a dalmatian mix. duh.

Oh silly me - I forgot, it has spots, it must be a dal. :-D

As a side note on such things, I was asked again yesterday if Brenin and Cenau are related .. oh well, at least the asker got their genders right this time - she asked if they were father and son.