As time has passed, I have come to realize that Lucy has put on a lot of weight and is having issues in getting around. Like many pet owners, I admit that I share the blame and realize that I am guilty of overfeeding and overindulging my pets (they are so cute that it is just so hard to say no sometimes). When doing some research for this topic, I found that according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than ½ the dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese. (www.petobesityprevention.org) Realizing that I’m not the only one dealing with this, I decided to try and find a simple solution, and of course share it with you all!
Part of the problem is that Lucy and Linus do everything together including have their meals. I mentioned briefly in my last post that, Linus is a picky eater, and will sometimes walk away from his dish before he is finished. On the other hand, Lucy is quick to sweep in and eat both bowls before you can blink (she really loves to eat)! When handing out treats, Linus will often take his and if he doesn’t like it he hide it. Along comes Lucy… you get the picture.
Lucy really loves her food, she will hold it in her mouth, set it down, sniff it, guard it, and otherwise drool over it for 20 minutes before finally eating it. In comparison, if Linus is given a bite of steak, he will swallow it whole. I also admit that I am guilty of treating them table food and the amount Lucy is given can be a problem as well. Even if I go out for burgers and fries, Lucy and Linus both have their own burgers too. They expect it. Lucy, takes hers apart, looks for pickles, and only eats the burger. Linus, doesn’t care, just eats his whole.
You would think that Linus would be the overweight dog, but no, he’s a skinny sort. So working with two different weight issues, and knowing I am the problem is key. The most important lesson I learned is that when the owner (me) takes responsibility for what they are feeding their pets, change can occur.
Really wanting to make a change here, I decided on a plan of action. I have learned to read labels more carefully on their food. Currently I have switched them both to a weight control formula of their favorite dog food. I’ve learned that measuring their food is important. Just don’t fill up a giant bowl, measure out exactly what they are supposed to have. An added benefit is that it saves so much too!
Finding the right food for each of my pets has also been a challenge. Sometimes it is difficult to find different types of food based on your dogs’ dietary needs allergies, etc... With the new K9Cuisine website, finding the right food is now a breeze, and makes it that much easier to help me stick to my action plan for Lucy and Linus. Whether you have large breed dogs like mine, or small breed dogs, you can find specialty foods that will fit your dogs’ lifestyle. Weight control is a key search option, as well as gluten free, corn, wheat, & soy free, and many other dietary options you may be looking for.
Lucy’s diet now consists of 1 cup weight control dry dog food, ½ can wet food, and 2 low calorie treats per day. Linus is also following along, as he is supporting his friend. We are trying to work more walks into the picture, which Lucy does very well. We live next to a wonderful park, and that is where we are headed next.
Out of curiosity, how many of you have struggled with pet weight issues? I would love to hear your stories and how you are dealing with it!
Off to the dog park.