Courtesy of: Juanita

“Ah, excuse me?”

That’s what I thought when Dr. Michelle told me my 4 year old Golden Retriever, Charlie, needed to lose weight.  Who did she think she was?

Then I took a step back and really looked at Charlie.  Apparently what I had taken as a full winter coat was indeed extra padding over the ribcage.  When I bent down to rub his side, I could not feel his ribs anymore.  Life with 2 preschoolers and a toddler had taken its toll.  Too many table droppings and plate scrapings.  Too little exercise.  Poor Charlie and his waistline had gone unnoticed.  Even more concerning to me was that Charlie suffers from severe hip dysplasia.  The head of his femur does not sit properly in his hip socket.  We have been able to keep him pain free with muscle toning through exercise.  Keeping him at a healthy weight is equally important to prevent hip pain.  Were his hips starting to bother him too because of the weight gain and I hadn’t noticed?

So, I had a heart-to-heart with our Charlie-dog.  We were going to cut back on the food and we would get back to our regular daily walks.  He was thrilled about the walking part, not so much about the food part.

I did not want to change Charlie’s diet entirely.  At this point he is on Royal Canin Dental formula to promote a healthy mouth and prevent gum disease.  We decided that his weight gain was small enough that reducing his feeding amount and increasing his exercise should be sufficient to manage it.  In more severe cases, the better solution would be to change the diet to one formulated specifically for weight loss.  Royal Canin has effective diets designed for successful weight management.

We use a yogurt container to scoop each meal, which we have measured and determined to hold two cups of food.  We cut the top of the yogurt container down so that a full container would only hold 1 ¾ cups instead, making measuring his food still easy and accurate.  Now hubby or I could still give him a full scoop but the cup would contain less.

We started daily walks again.  Some days we only go for 20 minutes, but other walks are over an hour.  He is now looking slim and trim, scoring a perfect 3 on a body conditioning scale of 1 to 5.  He lost 5 pounds and is goofier than ever.

If you notice a little extra padding on your pet’s ribcage or a tummy waddle when they walk, call 893-2341 and ask to speak to one of our Nutrition Counselors.  Together we can get your pet back on the road to good health.

Charlie in his favourite spot!