A Pug’s Weight Loss Journey
The Pet Parent’s Version
In a past post, my dog Edie has posted her view, the view of a dog, of what it’s like to be an obese dog, and her feelings about being on a weight loss journey.
This post is written by me – Edie’s humom, the view of a pet parent who’s been told their pet is obese and needs to lose weight.
There have been challenges, questions and concerns along the way, but as we are nearing the end of my dogs weight loss journey, those concerns, challenges and questions are now clearer to me.
When it was decided that my pug Edie indeed needed to lose weight, I did not disagree, I was however hesitant as to how the dog food my vet recommended would, or could, actually make a difference.
Was this just a sales tactic? Couldn’t I just keep feeding my pug Edie the same dog food but less of it? Would Edie even like this new dog food? How long would it take to notice a difference in my dog’s attitude, and how long before I would see a reduction in her weight?
I admit that I did not switch to the food recommended by my vet the first time it was suggested. I tried giving Edie less of her usual dog food but that didn’t work. Edie still wasn’t feeling satisfied and she continued to beg with a vengeance! Edie’s weight continued to climb and I had to finally face facts and address the obesity issue. I finally took my vet’s advice and went home with a new bag of food; Royal Canin Satiety Support.
As many of my followers already know, I am a big fan of the Royal Canin brand and have been feeding it to Edie since she was a puppy, but even still, I could not see how this new food could help reduce not only Edie’s begging, but reduce her weight as well.
Any concerns of Edie not liking the Satiety Support was immediately put to rest, she devoured it, but as with any change in a pet’s diet, it was introduced in small amounts over a couple of weeks.
Edie’s hunger and love of food, the begging, the fits; yes she would pull a fit by scratching on arms of chairs or dig carpets when she was hungry, she would stare us down until she was fed, this display of what I call naughtiness did not magically disappear when I switched her to Satiety Support, but in time, these fits decreased and are now mostly a thing of the past.
I realize now that switching to a food that addressed Edie’s obesity issue was the right thing to do. I also realized that my vet was not trying to “upsell” me, but was suggesting a product that would address Edie’s weight and her need to feel fuller.
In addition to a change in Edie’s diet, I also increased her exercise. Exercising pugs can be challenging based on weather conditions, pugs do not do well in hot, humid conditions and the past winter was extremely difficult with all the ice and snow. So when the days were too hot, too snowy or icy, I took Edie to the local pet store for a walk around just to get her moving.
When human’s are on diets they see success when their clothes start becoming loose, they being to loose inches, and of course when they step on the scales. We are also told that we didn’t put this weight on overnight, and it will take time for it to come off.
This was no different for my dog Edie. Her harness became loose and needed to be taken in; I took her for regular weigh-in’s at our vet’s office to confirm she was on the right path, and loosing weight at a healthy pace. Edie’s weight did not drop off overnight; it has been a journey that started May 30, 2012, when she was a few days shy of her 2nd birthday and weighed the heaviest she had ever been, 14.4kg!
In Edie’s first year she reduced to 12.6kg, it was at this time she started to level out, not loosing as much or as quickly. As the weather improved, Edie became more active and started loosing again. After an injury to Edie’s shoulder and being put on strict rest, I though “oh no”, her weight is going to increase. Much to my surprise and the delight of her vet, when Edie was weighed she dropped down to 11.7kg! According to Edie’s vet, she had not weighed this since she was 1 year old!
Now I know you’re probably thinking, it’s not a good thing to weigh what she did when she was 1 year old, but it is not only a good thing, it’s a healthy thing!
Edie’s journey will continue, **not necessarily to loose more weight, but to maintain the healthy weight she has reached so she can continue to be the happy, healthy pug she is, and she can continue to make me laugh and smile each day.
**When I look back and read this story today (three years later), I believed Edie had made it to a weight that was acceptable and appropriate for her and she no longer needed to loose “much more”. In fact, I was still unable to see that my dog was indeed still over weight at 11.7kg. With the help and encouragement of my vet, we continued to monitor Edie’s weight and today I can confidently say, with my vet in agreement, that Edie now at 9.4kg, is at her ideal weight.
Disclosure: All opinions about Edie, her weight loss journey and how it affected Edie’s health are my own personal experience. Edie has been on Royal Canin products since she was a puppy and continues to be on Royal Canin Satiety Support (dry and wet). Edie is Ambassador to Royal Canin Canada, but this in no way influences my opinions of the product. Edie has and is always monitored by her veterinarian to ensure her health, her healthy weight loss and maintenance.