Pudgy Puppies!

Gram and I are sitting here on the patio, believe it or not it is a bit chilly here in Florida. With the holidays coming Gram and I are discussing food and of course with food comes diet and so the topic of Pudgy Puppies.

We hope you enjoy this and learn a bit and yes, for your information, I am not pudgy, my mom keeps me slim whether I like it or not.

Pudgy puppies are cute, fat dogs are not. For your dog’s well being and longer life, you will need to think “slim.”

There are four types of overweight dogs:

  • The nibbler - the nibbler just nibbles away all day. The dry food is out and he/she munches on that and anything else that is available.
  • The beggar – he/she is so cute when they beg for treats and food. The beggar will greet someone just walking by the refrigerator.
  • Good dog – everyone loves the “good dog.” The good dog gets treats all day long and extra ones at mealtime.
  • The gourmet – the gourmet has trained its owner to believe that he/she needs people treats along with dog food. Ice cream (no chocolate), cookies and candy are especially popular.

    Now, while you are figuring out your dog’s type, take time to make an appointment with your Vet. Before starting out on a slimming diet you need to have your dog medically checked out. Insist on a thyroid test along with the other normal tests. If by chance your dog has hyperthyroidism, which is common in overweight dogs, the condition needs to be treated by your Vet.

    Discuss with your Vet what type of reducing diet you should follow for your dog. Be certain to tell your Vet if your dog has any definite likes or dislikes when it comes to the food he/she eats.

    It is a good idea to have your dog weighed before you start his/her diet and then again in 2 weeks to make certain you are on the right track. If there is no weight loss something more will have to be done.

    To help a dog lose weight, meat should be the primary ingredient in his/her dog food. Avoid the corn or other cereal based products found in most canned and dry dog foods. Feeding a high quality dog food might cost a little more, but in the long run you will have a healthier and slimmer dog.

    When buying dog food (dry or canned) read the labels; do not be fooled by great advertising or pretty labels. Keep in mind preservatives such as propylene glycol, propel gallate, sodium nitrite, BHA or BHT are not good for your pet.

    Research has shown that “reduced calorie”, “lite diet”, and “senior diet foods” have very low fat levels, which reduces the calories, however the carbs have been increased and this is where the problem lies. Too many carbohydrates increase insulin secretion and the end result is the body stores the unused calories as fat.

    Dogs are omnivores, which means they eat meat and plant type food. Protein is important in a dog’s diet (though not as important as it is in a cat’s diet). However, dogs do well also eating vegetables. The best diet for your dog is meat, raw (not cooked) bones and vegetables.

    When you and your Vet are creating a reducing diet for your dog, think variety. You don’t enjoy eating the same thing every day and neither does your dog. Remember variety is the spice of life. Using common sense, taking some time for “creative dog cooking,” and giving your pet non food related exercise will soon provide you with a slimmer, healthier, happier dog.

    Dogs are born with sharp teeth and claws, which seem to be fitting for a meat eater. In days gone by dogs were hunters and found their food in the wild. In today’s world, however, their teeth and claws seem to have little use except for tearing and chewing up your best shoes or one of the children toys.

    Raw meat is a wonderful thing to include in your dog’s diet. Instead of feeding Fido a biscuit as a treat give him/her a small piece of meat. If feeding your dog raw meat seems repulsive to you, give your dog freeze-dried meat treats instead. These can be found at your neighborhood pet store and in some grocery stores. Be certain to read the label as many “meat treats” contain more grain than meat.

    When thinking of meat for your dog, think beef, lean pork, chicken, or lamb. Lean ground beef is acceptable to, but it does not give your dog the chewing action that his/her teeth were made for. If you are thinking of the expense, we are not talking about the best cuts of meat in the store, watch for sales. A small piece of meat at a small price will bring you great rewards in a healthier and slimmer dog. Raw meaty bones are great, too, if you can get some from your meat market.

    For variety try a piece of apple, carrot, raw green beans, raw bones or even a small bit of cheese as an alternative treat.

    A doggy stew made from carrots, green beans, celery, summer squash, zucchini and other vegetables with maybe a little stew beef added or a piece of liver or kidney and even a little rice thrown in is a great change from dog food.

    Though dogs are plant eaters a totally vegetarian diet will not supply the protein a dog needs.

    A good quality dog food will have as its main ingredient meat (beef, lamb, chicken) and very little corn or any other grains and literally no animal by-products except named organ meats. This dog food will cost more, but in the long run your dog will eat less. A high quality dog food will provide the nutrients your dog needs and he/she will again to healthier and slimmer. Remember to read the labels, check ingredients. Don’t fall for those classy TV ads and fancy labels on dog food cans, read the ingredients (can’t say that enough.)

    Now we’ll talk about the really hard part of getting your dog slimmer, exercise. Just like its human counter part, a dog needs exercise. Walking is great, great for you and great for your dog.

    However, if you live in a climate (like Florida) where the summer sun is very hot, plan your walks in the morning and in the evening after the sun goes down. Keep in mind your dog is not wearing shoes the sidewalks and roadways are very hot. If you walk your dog in the heat of the day, your dog’s foot pads can get burned and cause him/her a great deal of pain.

    While walking is a great way to go, your dog needs more exercise than that. Playing fetch with a frisbee, tossing a ball and playing with other throw toys can provide fun and good healthy exercise for you both.

    Losing weight, as most of us know is not an easy chore. It will take dedication, persistence and cooperation from all of your family to help your dog lose the weight it needs to lose. Remind the family, no extra treats unless they are healthful ones like a piece of meat, carrot or a slice of apple. Raisins and grapes should not be used as treats as they have been known to be toxic to some dogs. No bowls of dry food for late night snacks or lunch when you are not home. Remember the carbs.

    Keep in touch with your vet; weigh your pet every 3 – 4 weeks to keep a check on his/her weight loss. If nothing is happening it will be necessary to be more watchful of what your dog is eating and maybe keep an eye on the family to see what they may be sneaking to your dog as extra treats.

    The end result of all your hard work will be a slimmer, trimmer, healthier and happier dog with a healthy shiny coat and a great attitude.

    As an added bonus, maybe you got slimmer and trimmer too, from all the exercise.

    The Animal Rescue Site