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Weight loss for dogs

Are you guilty of sneaking in some extra food for your dog? While you are eating do you, or your children manage (accidentally) to drop some food on the floor? My kids used to call it ‘doggy’ day.

I remember being slightly taken aback during one of my vets’ visits being told that our Molly (dog) and Sonia (cat) had put on some extra pounds. To me, they looked trim and fit.

Surely, our pets could not put weight on so easily? We walk them, exercise them, and play games with them, but that is exactly what happens when you give your furry baby, ice cream, chocolate, share your dinner with them (and everyone else in the household

does the same).

Small children are the worst at feeding extra food to dogs and cats. My kids when they were toddlers did nothing but get our Molly to test every food their little hands could get hold of.

Weight loss for dogs

When my children started learning to bake, their messy fingers were quickly licked by our Molly. When my children got older, I tried teaching them responsibility by helping to feed Molly the right amount of doggy food, but that didn’t go down well.

One sweet look and no protest from Molly would let my kids pile on extra doggy food as well as share their own food.

And then guilt can play its part. Because I had three young children, I did not always spend enough time with our cat Sonia so to make up for it I gave her extra tuna.

Before my children were born, both Molly and Sonia had strict diets, and I kept to them. That slipped away once my kids started eating by themselves. And I let it happen out of guilt.

When Molly and Sonia were pushing on in age the vet advised me to reduce the extra food. So, no ice cream, etc. This was to stop them from developing health problems such as breathing difficulties.

What we did:

1. Instead of filling the bowls straight away with plenty of food, I would just put a little bit out for them That way when the kids gave treats to our Molly, I would then follow it with a full meal. It’s difficult to get three toddlers not to feed their beloved dogs. But as the children got older, they understood the importance of not feeding Molly from under the table. If you have children who are young, who give food to their doggy why not adopt my tip?

2. Molly was a medium-size crossbreed dog who loved a good run. We would take her to places like Clumber Park where she could run to her heart’s content. She also loved Fleet Lane down by the River Aire. Our Molly was built for speed and distance, but your dog may struggle to do long distances or keep up with you when running or cycling. Assess your dog’s ability and set realistic speed and distance goals. That way both dog and the owner will benefit. It’s a win-win situation.

Tip: “Should mention some of the food is poisonous to pets, ie chocolate, onion, and grapes.”

Here are some useful websites you need to check out before getting your dog on any diet:

VCAHospitals - Abnormal Weight Loss in Dogs

Royal Canin -Why is my dog losing weight

PDSA - Obesity in dogs

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