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Dogs on diets: Ted and Sausage find out if they are losers

Amy Holloway

Four weeks since the start of their official diet, it was time for miniature Dachshunds Ted & Sausage to have their second weigh-in, this time with Leah Paddock RVN, at our Hagley Practice.

On starting their weight loss programme in October, Ted weighed 8kg and needed to lose 1kg; Sausage was 4.4kg and needed to lose 0.4kg, around 10% of her body weight. Excess weight in Dachshunds especially will have a detrimental effect on their joints, back and overall health.

Ted the wirehaired dachshund looks up at nurse leah in hope, has he lost weight?

 

Ted the wirehaired miniature Dachshund goes first

Leah, who heads up our Weight Loss Programmes at Hagley, pops Ted on the scales… 7.7kg! Ted has lost 300g – almost one-third of his target weight loss in just one month. She also takes measurements of Ted’s neck, chest and waist, so we can see next time if there has been any change. Ted actually managed to pull out of his collar on a walk earlier, which worried me, but Leah points out that this is one of the first signs of weight loss.

Ted scores 6 – 7 on the body conditioning chart as she has to press fairly hard to feel his ribs. His needs to get to a normal score of 4 – 5, which will be much better for his long-term health.

 

How have we achieved this?

 

  • Started the switch to Purina Diet OM Food, mixed in with his old Purina Adult Mini (& some other brands we had left over), 2 meals a day with a dollop of wet food on top.
  • Lunch is either half a Dentastix or a Sprat (small dried oily fish) and some dog treats.
  • Measuring food portions by using a scoop from another brand of food, for better consistency and control of intake.
  • Walks have increased from 20 – 40 minutes, to 30 – 60 minutes a day, and we are doing indoor exercise and play when the weather is terrible. You try getting a Dachshund to go out in a torrential downpour!

 

Now for the mini Sausage…

So, now it’s Sausage’s turn on the tabletop scales. Unbelievably, and I’m not quite sure how it happened, neither is Sausage by the look on her face, but she has actually put on 100g! This might not sound a lot, but when you think about how small her frame is, every bit of excess weight counts. Leah also takes her body measurements and checks her body conditioning, for which she too scores a 6 – 7.

Sausage the miniature dachshund looks concerned as she gets weighed and measured

 

How we have not achieved any weight loss

The switch to Purina OM didn’t go well as the biscuits were either too big and hard for her, or a powder when smashed up. So, I gave in and just tried cutting down her normal Purina Adult Mini Food, which she has with a dessert spoon of wet food, with the same snacks as Ted. However, she always seems hungry after mealtimes and is begging for food almost immediately. It’s no use hiding I tell her, we need to make some changes!

Sausage hides under the chair after finding out her weigh-in results

 

Leah’s Weight Loss Programme Advice

Following the results of this week’s weigh-in, Leah makes some adjustments to their Weight Loss Programme and has this advice for us:

 

  1. Cut Ted’s food down to one brand as soon as possible to ensure he has the right amount of calories and nutrition for him.
  2. Weigh out their food as per the brand’s instructions – I was actually giving them less food but more calories than they needed.
  3. Try Sausage on a lighter food – soak hard biscuits in hot water to soften them.
  4. Reduce the amount of wet food they have with each meal – some wet foods are complete meals, as is Purina dry food, so there’s no real need for them to have both.
  5. Switch to Purina’s Opti-Weight Food, which will enable them to lose weight at a more maintainable rate for their size.
  6. Try new healthier lunchtime snacks such as carrots, and use sprats and Dentastix as occasional treats to cut down on unnecessary calories.
  7. Following their Weight Loss appointment, Leah sends us a full diet plan with correct meal portions to support their current weights and weight-loss goals.

 

Get your dog’s weight checked

If you’re concerned that your dog is overweight, book a FREE Weight & Diet Consultation with Leah at our Hagley practice, or Kirsty at Bromsgrove.

Every dog is different in terms of their resting energy needs, how active they are and their age, health and nutritional needs. Getting professional advice and support can help you and your dog achieve their weight loss goals at a safe and manageable rate. If your dog’s weight and body conditioning are cause for concern, you will be invited to embark on a Weight Loss Programme with our qualified nursing team.

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