Helping Your Dog Lose Weight Benefits You As Well
By Susan Ryder
When we rescued her from the local Humane Society five years ago, Kayla was 97 pounds of wriggling, jiggling, out-of-control two-year old Yellow Lab. Her previous owner had become ill and unable to care for her, and as a result, Kayla received lots of food and treats, little exercise, and even less discipline and training. But in spite of her less than svelte figure and her barely manageable behavior, one look into her amber eyes, and I fell in love with her.
When we brought her home, our first goal was to get some of that extra weight off her. So we put her on a strict diet and exercise regime, much like a human would do, to lose extra pounds. We had no idea what she had been eating, or how much, but she was clearly overweight in a potentially unhealthy way. After consulting our vet, we fed her the suggested amount of a dry, diet dog food, which she wolfed down without chewing in about five seconds flat. We gave her occasional low calorie doggie treats, and did not feed her any scraps from the table, no matter how much she begged. And in addition, we took her for at least two 30-minute walks per day, morning and evening, to get her some much-needed exercise, and work on her unrestrained behavior.