Its National Nutrition Month and what a great opportunity to discuss pets, nutrition and healthy weight.
Earlier this month I joined Royal Canin Canada at the Ontario Veterinary Technician conference in Toronto where the topic of discussion was pet nutrition; knowing the signs of obesity in pets; obtaining and maintaining healthy weight in pets.
As a pet owner attending the conference, it gave me the opportunity to tackle the subject of pet obesity from the pet owners side of view; the challenges of dealing with a demanding, begging dog that never seemed to be satisfied, a dog that once topped the scales at 14.4kg!
What struck me most when Dr. Jackie Parr discussed the topic of pet obesity with the veterinary technicians was that many pet owners do not see or want to believe their pet is over weight. Nor are we all completely honest about what and how much we are feeding our dogs. It’s very easy to forget about those treats we give throughout the day or the leftover “human” food that gets added to our dog’s dinner bowl.
No one including me wants to be told there is something “wrong” with his or her pet!
“My dog’s not fat”!
“I can get my dog to loose weight just by feeding them less”.
I’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!
Edie was fat, and no matter how hard I tried to feed her less, or fill her up on green beans and carrots she was still hungry, begging for food and gaining weight!
I needed help to get Edie healthy again and my vet was the one that helped me help my dog.
The “first” step on this weight loss journey was to start feeding Edie a food that was recommended by my vet (Royal Canin Satiety Support Small Dog). This food would address the issues of an overweight dog and help satisfy Edie’s feeling of constant hunger.
Of course there is more to weight loss in pets than a change of food. I needed to begin measuring/weighing the amount of food Edie was getting – each and every time she is fed. And of course an increase in exercise was needed as well.
I truly believe what kept me motivated during Edie’s weight loss journey was visiting our vet’s office on a regular basis to have Edie weighed. To actually see the numbers on the scale go down helped confirm what I was doing was indeed working. It also gave me the opportunity to ask any questions, voice any concerns or challenges I had along the way.
Could I ever imagine it would take two years for Edie to drop from 14.4kg to 9.7kg?
Were there challenges along the way?
Was it worth it?
I would like to add that once your pet has reached their goal weight it does not end there. I still keep tract of Edie’s weight, she still eats Satiety Support Small Dog, the food recommended by my vet, although we have adjusted the amounts to maintain her weight as opposed to losing weight.
So I ask you these questions:
- Have you been told by your vet that your pet needs to lose weight?
- Do you give treats or add “people” food to your dogs bowl?
- Do you measure, weigh or scoop your pet’s food?
Disclaimer: Although I am an ambassador to Royal Canin Canada, all opinions and experiences with the Royal Canin food are my personal opinion. Edie’s weight loss journey and her health is continually monitored by my vet.