“I am so lost. How could I let things get this bad? I mostly blame myself, but I didn’t get here alone. Mom fed me, dad fed me, even little Pete and he’s only 5!
I’m just a good-for-nothing lazy dog! I don’t like to run or play…it’s a chore just to lift my hind leg at the hydrant. My hourglass figure is so far gone I barely remember having one. Nowadays I’m more concerned about eating, sleeping and resting my bad hip.
I’m not a REAL dog anymore. I don’t feel like myself, not to mention I’m called every name in the book: “fatty,” “pig,” “chunky monkey.”
Look, I’ll admit…I LOVE table scraps! Who doesn’t? You don’t understand how my mouth waters at the savory smell of food. You don’t know what it’s like to have to turn down jerky treats. I’m too weak to say, ‘No thanks, I’m on a diet.’ But I know I’m unhealthy. I want to be a REAL dog again. Dr. Jon, I guess what I’m trying to say is…I’m fat. Can you help me?”
And here’s Dr. Jon’s response:
If your dog could talk, would he have a similar story? Is your dog overweight and at risk for developing debilitating diseases? About 43 million dogs in the United States are estimated to be overweight…that’s nearly 3 out of every 5 dogs.
Our dogs can’t lose weight on their own…they need our help. We may think our fat dogs are cute, but by over feeding them we are putting their health at risk. Protect your dogs by keeping them at a healthy weight. There are a few easy things you can do.
1. Stop spoiling them with treats and table scraps – it makes them happy in the moment, but comes with a consequence.
2. Take your dogs out daily to keep them active.
3. And finally, lower their calorie intake by changing their dog food. The Hill’s® Therapeutic Weight Reduction Program is a great way to start. It comes with premeasured meals and weight loss goals that have been VERY effective in helping dogs lose weight. Just look at this after picture of the dog from above:
I was just at the Western Veterinary Conference and learned that approximately 22% of dogs on the Hill’s® Therapeutic Weight Reduction Program have lost weight. This approach to weight control is highly successful. If your dog is obese, give it a try. And if you don’t like it, Hill’s has a guarantee that will refund your money back!
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Now that’s what I call a Biggest Loser!
Rex was a “chunky monkey” for a while. We had him tested and his thyroid was out of whack. With his age at more than 11, and a torn ACL and bad hips, he doesn’t exert himself or exercise as much anymore. But medication for his thyroid condition, plus watching what he eats, has kept his weight in a pretty normal range for his breed and age, though we’re working on getting about five more pounds off. (So am I!)
Now Charlie Bear is a different breed altogether. With a little dog, I think you tend to see even a few pounds more readily. So the 1st of every month I weigh Charlie. He’s maintained a steady 16 or 16.5 pounds since November.