Is your dog too fat? Chances are, you haven’t noticed. Well at least that was what happened to me. I didn’t realize my mini schnauzer had become overweight until I brought her in for spaying, and the vet just refused to do the surgery on account of her weight. The vet shared that overweight dogs are prone to post-surgery complications, and ordered us to shed weight before we could proceed any further.
This was an eye-opener for me. Until that moment, I did not realize that my dog was fat. I guess the thing with weight is that it creeps up slowly on your dog, and we don’t really see the change in our dogs because we’re with them 24/7. The fat look becomes “normal,” so to speak. I did not realize she had become obese. In fact, I realized that she was not the only fat dog in my pack.
Obese dogs face a host of health issues, so we had to take our vet’s orders seriously, and put our overweight dogs on a weight loss diet.
Now came the hard part. The vet told us to just maintain her on her kibbles and drop the treats. That may sound simple, but in reality, it’s not. If you live with a dog, you know that their sad eyes and constant pawing could be very hard to ignore.
How, then, are we implementing our weight loss regimen?
First, we’ve had to cut food portions. We’re now measuring how much we give to make sure that we don’t give more than her allotted portion. This is tough, since she quickly wolfs down her food and asks for more. The vet eventually put her on Royal Canin Satiety which is supposed to make her feel full, and allow her to lose weight while ensuring she gets the nutrients and vitamins she needs.
Second, we’re feeding the overweight dogs separately. One reason that some of our dogs are overweight is that they steal the food of other dogs. That’s why we’ve had to make mealtimes more regimented, with the overweight ones having to be fed in an enclosure, where they stay until every dog in our household has finished eating.
Third, we’ve limited their treats. This could be quite hard, as treats are freely dispensed by all members of the household, and this dog had a way of asking for more. I had to constantly remind people about this, and that included personally policing what treats went into her mouth. Once in a while, we did give her some treats, but when we did, we made sure that her meal size was reduced proportionately.
Fourth, we’ve increased her exercise. This dog now gets walked two times a day, and she walks far longer distances than she used to. We stopped walking our dogs when the pandemic started, and we never got started on the routine again. This forced us to restart dog walking again. The good thing is that she enjoys walking immensely and this has definitely helped her lose pounds.
Fifth, we’ve had to impose portion controls on the rest of the dogs. I had a good look at the rest of the dogs in my household, and realized that many of them needed to lose some weight. I also had to assess the treats situation, because the dogs get just too many treats than they need.
So far, my girl has lost 1.4 kilos in two months – going from an initial 9 kilos to 7.6 in a little over 2 months. That’s a 15% weight loss in 9 weeks, which I am happy about. She now has a tummy tuck which is visible from the side, and she now has a waist when her outline is viewed from the top. Hopefully, her vet would already approve her for spay surgery soon.
To those of you who need to put your dogs on a weight-loss diet, let me be the first to cheer you on. It isn’t easy, but with persistence and discipline, especially among the people in your household, you can get your dog’s weight down to a healthier one!