Tuesday, April 17, 2012
A year ago our vet told me that our beloved golden retriever, Charlie, was significantly overweight. He was having problems with the skin breaking down on his elbows. She said it was because he was so heavy he was essentially slamming himself down on the floor to take the weight off his feet.
He then weighed 43 kg.
Saturday when I took him for his checkup, he weighed 33.5 kg. A loss of about 20 pounds in 1 year.
Our vet was so impressed! And Charlie is, of course, looking sleek. Feeling lively. And no more problems with his elbows!
She wanted to know how we'd done it. I told her: strict chow control. One cup of grain free high protein organic duck dog chow morning and night. In between meal snacks limited to fresh veggies: carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes . . . Charlie loves all of these and sits beside me while I'm making my salads. And: more exercise.
Apparently very few people actually manage to help their dogs lose weight, even though it's vitally important to their well being and longevity. Charlie will be 8 in a few weeks, and we love him very much: "Best dog ever!", we tell him many times a day. Of course I took weight loss for Charlie very seriously indeed and so did everyone in the family.
Interestingly enough, the vet herself (about my age, height and build) would like to lose a few pounds. She asked me a year ago how I manage to keep in shape and I told her: YMCA, SparkPeople.
She asked me again on Saturday (having put on additional weight over the past year), and I told her again -- this time also mentioning fatloser.com.
The vet is an absolutely lovely person . . . so kind, so knowledgeable about animals and about pet nutrition. But she thought that a diet heavy in safflower oil (!) and walnuts (!!) -- (nutritious in and of themselves, of course) -- was appropriate for herself. Even though she knows all about calories in/calories out. Knows all about move more, eat less. Thinking back to my blog a few weeks ago about how overweight works at work . . . . I'm wondering how tough it is for a vet to get tough with owners on their pets' obesity when . . . . yeah.
I'm so proud of Charlie!! We got his "weight loss chart" printed out and posted it on the wall in the kitchen, near his chow bowl! Here's to Charlie! We hope he's got many many more healthy years ahead of him!!