Written by JessicaRecently my family’s dog, Sweetie, came in for an annual check-up at Community Pet Hospital. After examining him, Dr. Hendericks discussed with my step mother a goal weight, of 7 pounds less on his Bichon Frise frame! We saw the goal weight, not only as a challenge for the family, but as a whole new outlook for our dog’s daily routine. Being a trimmer dog would mean many benefits in his future, including a longer lifespan, a more active lifestyle, in fact it would mean saving money on food in the long haul. It also meant a chance for us to bond over a hike or a walk more frequently.
Luckily for us, the clinic was focusing on weight loss and weight management, and Sweetie was immediately signed up for the Weight Loss Challenge. It gave us the opportunity to come in for monthly weigh-ins, and check in with the staff on questions about his diet. His portions were cut down by 25%, and there was an emphasis on healthy treats and exercise.
At first it was hard, Sweetie would stare longingly at his bowl that he remembered was full a moment ago, right before his massive “eat-attack.” He became opportunistic with food left unattended, and we were more likely to see him trying to climb crazy heights for a scrap of food. We supplemented his kibble diet with fruit and vegetables, and found out, remarkably, that he loved carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and celery. He felt it was a treat, and that was all that mattered. Exercise was at times difficult to fit into a busy schedule, but he loved every minute of it. It was charming to see him at the end of a walk contentedly panting, getting back to his doggie roots.
The changes were quick, quicker than I would have expected. In one month’s time, he had dropped 3 pounds. We were well on our way. Our hike last week had him pulling me uphill. I could not be more proud of him. It took a family effort, and there is still a bit to go, but results are promising, and small adjustments have made all the difference.
Here are some helpful hints for assisting in man’s best friend’s weight loss:
- A measuring cup can make a positive impact on decreasing intake calories, and on saving you money.
- Vegetables are an excellent treat, try giving carrots, cucumbers, celery, asparagus, zucchini, squash, peas, and green beans. (*AT THE SAME TIME DO NOT FEED MUSHROOMS, ONIONS, BROCOLLI AND GRAPES. TO SEE MORE TOXIC/GASTROINTESTINAL IRRITANTS VISIT http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/toxic.htm).
- Exercise can help deter other behavior issues. When done right, all that excess energy is directed to activities that you can decide on. Visit http://www.dogplay.com/index.html for some fun ideas on dog activities.
- A toy can help slow down feeding and give the pet physical and mental exercise. Try investing in a Kong toy or similar product and stuff the toy with meals or with some fun low calorie recepies http://www.kongstuffing.com/?page_id=12.