Don’t Let Your Dog Become Fat Like Hattie
Hattie Needs a Forever Home
Earlier this year a cross-collie dog called Hattie, weighing in at 40kg or 6st, was rescued by the R.S.P.C.A. in the U.K.
Hattie looked more like a pot-bellied pig than a dog.
Poor Hattie had been living on a diet of hamburgers and it showed.
Hattie has responded well though to a program of diet and exercise and her weight has reduced to 23kg or 3st..
Now all eight-year-old Hattie needs is a forever home.
It’s well recorded that too many people who live in Western countries are overweight.
Both poverty and a good income can lead to obesity, though the path is a little different.
A person with a low income may fill up on cheap food that is high in fat and low in nutrition whereas someone with a good income may overindulge in rich, luxury food and drink that is high in calories. Both can lead to obesity
People also blame others at times for their own weight gain but what if it is your dog that is getting fat?
Footage of the dog nicknamed Fatty Hattie losing weight acted as a reminder to me that some dog owners are killing their dogs with kindness.
Fat Or Unwell?
Hattie, declared Britain’s fattest dog, has lost half her body weight after staff at the dog and cats home put her on a strict diet. As she has diabetes losing weight has been crucial for her health.
However helping a dog lose weight is rarely easy and it is much better to keep your dog at a good steady weight.
Certainly some dogs and dog breeds run to fat at times in their life just like people. During winter a dog may also get a little fatter if taking less exercise but that should be easily rectified.
If you monitor your pet dog you should spot any weight changes that need action.
But bear in mind a dog’s weight gain could be due to a health issue. Thyroid problems for example are rare in dogs but not unknown.
If your dog is very overweight make sure it gets a health check by a veterinarian.
It may also advisable to consult a veterinarian if you decide your dog needs to go on a diet.
Dogs And Diets
If your dog is overweight the odds are you or a family member is to blame.
A domesticated dog does not feed itself. You or someone living in your home feeds the dog each day.
Time to Diet
A good first step is recording what your dog eats daily. A simple chart that every person living in your home uses to record what they give the dog to eat and drink each day is a good start.
It is vital everyone completes this chart honestly.
A type of food amnesia often scuppers a person’s diet. Don’t let diet amnesia ruin your dogs diet too.
Accurately record a typical couple of days of your dogs food and drink for to hopefully identify any problem areas.
- It could simply be portion size so check the amount of food recommended for your dog.
- Check the animal’s recommended weight too.
- Weigh your dog and work out what would be an ideal healthy weight.
- Take a good look at what you feed your dog.
- Read all the labels and look for lower fat alternatives when you shop.
- Limit the amount of shop bought dog treats your pet consumes.
- Ensure you only buy low-fat treats in the future.
- Cut back on dog treats offering your dog a stick of raw carrot or piece of apple instead.
- Mix some cold plain boiled rice with dog food instead of using dog biscuits.
- Stop giving your dog human food. Our food is not good for a dog’s heath. In some cases high levels of salt and or sugar will cause various health problems including tooth decay.
- Dogs drink water. If you are giving your dog anything else to drink ask yourself why?
- Increase the dog’s activity and exercise if possible,
Prevention Is Always Easier Than Cure
If like me you have tried to lose weight you will know it is better to stay trim if possible.
Losing weight is never easy and it gets more difficult with age.
Helping a dog lose weight may not be easy and none of us want our beloved pet dogs to feel sad or deprived.
- Exercise your dog and actively interact with it. This will help it keep a balanced weight and stay fit and healthy with strong bones and muscles. The bonus is that exercise will also help keep you in good shape physically and mentally.
- When you home a dog decide from day one that you will not overfeed your dog or give it tidbits from the table and stick to that plan.
- Make your family and neighbors abide by your feeding program.
- You do not have to buy your dog’s love with treats.
Overall if you love your dog make sure you do not kill it or shorten its life with kindness in the shape of too much food.
© 2018 Ethel Smith