Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day.
This is a day to bring attention to the importance of keeping your pet happy, healthy and not fat,
I’m not going to sugar coat. I’m calling them fat. Not obese or overweight.
In this case the truth should be told.
Instead of doing the post that I had planned for today, a post that included statistics, I’m going to opt out of that and instead share how I try and keep Sherman and Leroy out of the fat statistics.
It’s always been one of my top priorities to keep them at healthy weight. Their big bones and joints don’t need to be lugging around any extra weight and my bank account can’t afford to pay for any health issues that are caused by something that I can control.
So here are some ways that I try to accomplish keeping then at a healthy weight.
- I feed a quality dog food that doesn’t have a lot of fillers and extra ingredients that they don’t need.
- I’m aware of how many calories they get a day. For example, Leroy gets 4 cups of food a day which equals 1,740 calories. He also gets a topper on his food that equals 150 calories and treats throughout the day that equal 165 calories. That’s a total of 2,055 calories per day. According to the Slimdoggy daily calorie counter, Leroy should be getting 2,132 calories per day based on his age, size, and activity level. This for me, is perfect because I didn’t add in the joint supplements and coconut oil that he gets daily.
- I always have my hands on the dogs feeling around their stomach to see if there’s too much padding there. If there is, calories get cut and activity increases.
- I weigh the dogs more than average. When I worked at the vet clinic Sherman and Leroy got weighed at least once a month and lucky for me, a few months before I left the clinic, I was able to score the clinics old scale and now it’s set up in the basement.
- I adjust as needed. For instance the Newfs are less active in the summer than they are in the winter so calories get cut in the less active months and increase in the more active months.
- I use what I have to get the most out of a walk. Now that the weather is cooler but the daylight is shorter I’ll be walking Leroy most of the time with his backpack and I will add weight to it slowly. This way, if we don’t get out for a walk until late and we can’t go as far, Leroy can still get the most out of his walk.
Those are just some of the ways I try to work on keeping them at a healthy weight. Now, I’m not saying we’re perfect at all. We have days where we don’t go for walks or days that the boys get more calories than they should because I share my french fries or something with them, but for the most part we try and be aware and be consistent.
Over the last year I have struggled with Sherman because his activity was so restricted and he gained a good 10 pounds and it worried me. I adjusted his calories and was able to get some of the weight off, but not what I wanted. Over the last few months, as his activity level has slowly increased, we are getting closer and as of last week we have 2 pounds to go to get back to his ideal weight. It’s not easy but it has to be done for Sherman’s sake.
So now that I’ve shared my ways of keeping the dogs out of the fat range, share some of yours!