I never thought I’d see the day that Ted & Sausage, familiar faces at Clent Hills Vets, would be put on a diet. They’re too tiny anyway, surely?
As their Borrower, I do find it hard at times to resist those little faces and may sometimes share my food with them…they go mad for a bit of toast, I only have to get the bread bag out and they turn into crazed mini monsters! I know, my bad…
Concerned that any extra weight on those little legs could do them some real harm, I took them to see nurse Kirsty for a weight check-up – it was very obvious that their ‘summer snacking bellies’ were hanging a little lower than they should be.
Ted – ‘lazy bones’ miniature wire-haired dachshund, weighed in at 8.0kg (he weighed 7.6kg in August…) and no waistline could be detected. There should be an indent after the rib cage, but Ted’s pretty much the same size all the way down. Kirsty set his first goal weight at 7kg. Ted is a huge fan of sleep and would do that over walking every time if he was allowed….
Sausage – ‘looks like a little sausage and likes to eat them’ smooth shaded red miniature dachshund, weighed in at 4.4kg. She’s a handful, literally, but still a little overweight. She too has no actual waistline and according to Kirsty, needs to lose about 0.4kg. Sausage is a bin raider, which when successful, can result in her consuming way more calories than she needs.
With small dogs especially, every ounce of excess weight can make all the difference, leading to issues such as diabetes and arthritis. Lugging extra weight around can also put a strain on their little hearts.
So, now that they are officially ‘Dogs on Diets’, this is what needs to happen:
Food – Switched from ‘Purina Adult Small Breed complete dry food’ to Purina OM diet food – the switch needs to be made gradually so as not to upset their tummies. Food must be measured as advised on the food packaging. Ted & Sausage also have a dollop of wet food added to each meal, this can continue so long as it’s portioned correctly as per Purina’s guide.
Exercise – Ted & Sausage have been getting a 10-15 minute walk in the morning and a 20-30 minute walk in the afternoon or evening, most days. This needs to increase to 15 minutes in the morning and 30 – 40 minutes later on, every day.
Snacks – Cut out all human snacks. Try healthier options such as carrots and apple. Reduce to half a dentastix each at lunchtime.
One week into their diets, this is how they are getting on:
Ted will normally eat anything you put in front of him and is enjoying his mixture of Purina foods while we break him into his new diet. Sausage can be a fussy eater and upon starting her new diet, she’d eat everything except the Purina OM diet food.
On watching her eat, I noticed she tried some of the new food but struggled to eat it as the pieces are a little bigger and harder than she’s used to – so I tried smashing them into smaller pieces in the mortar and pestle and this seemed to do the trick. There have been days in the past when she wouldn’t eat anything, and I’ve had to literally hand feed her, so I don’t want to go back to that but hopefully, she’ll get used to the new diet.
I’ve tried giving them carrot and apple as snacks, which they used to like, but for some reason, they’re not having any of it – maybe too used to naughty human treats! At the moment they still beg for food just the same and it’s so hard to ignore those cute little faces, but I know it’ll be much better for them if we can crack this.
Ted & Sausage started their diet on October 11th – catch up with them in a few weeks at their next weigh in.
If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight, book an appointment to see Kirsty or Leah asap