Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Dog Is Fat!!

This is what Bliss is supposed to look like.
I didn't have the heart to post a picture of her fat.
My dog Bliss is one of the 54% of US pets suffering from obesity. That's a real problem for me since I love to give her treats (and she loves to get them for herself at my local PetCo cookie bar). I know that I am to blame. Being a dog lover, I am mortified that I can't slim her down....instead, she keeps blowing up. At nine years old, I know the extra weight is leading to all kinds of health problems including diabetes. I already went though that with my Puli Baldwin. He died a couple years ago (and I am still not over it) after experiencing all sorts of health problems, (not associated with his weight) including diabetes, seizures, arthritis and ultimately cancer. For the last year of his life, I gave him insulin shots twice a day. I watched him lose his eyesight due to the diabetes. He became frail and scared. It was absolute torture watching him fade away. I don't ever want to go through that again.

So here I am with my fat dog Bliss asking how do I stop the madness? I know I am not the only dog lover suffering from this situation. However, Bliss is the first dog I've owned who would eat until she popped. I caught her at my friend's home recently with her head inside a huge bag of Beneful. I feed Bliss Natural Balance but she'll eat anything she finds on the ground, no matter how long the item has been rotting. I've taught her to leave it but she is so sneaky. What can I do when Bliss runs from me with an old piece of pizza in her mouth?

Let's be honest here. Her eating habits would be bad enough. I only make matters worse. I always save her a bite (or two, or three) of my meal. I can't seem to resist those eyes starring at me so lovingly. She even drools. I know I need to stop sharing my food with her...but...I am an addict, addicted to giving my dog whatever food she wants. I have always shared my food with my dogs. I just never was the guardian of a total food monger. I am so ashamed to admit it. I know how bad people food is for dogs.

It all started around the family dinner table while I was growing up with my Chihuahua Siesta. She was named Siesta because that was the only Spanish word my Dad knew! During dinner, my Dad would ask, "Susie, are you feeding the dog?" as I gave Siesta my pork chops under the table. All my dogs since have enjoyed a simple bite or two but Bliss is a food-aholic.

I know the key to maintaining a healthy weight starts with diet. I've had my own struggles with weight over the years. Bliss does get a lot of exercise. She just eats a lot of food.

I know I can resist her pleas for food and I am not going to give up. I need to be strong for my dog's health. It will be hard but it's necessary. I am powerless over my "need to feed." I am turning that powerlessness over to my higher power. Are there other dog lovers who want to join me? Let's make it a priority to get the weight off our precious canines. Don't they deserve to be healthy?

5 comments:

  1. I feel your pain...I have a pocket beagle...but she's more of a blimp! LOL

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  2. I'm really trying to keep Bliss away from food but she is just starving! What are you doing?

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  3. We have named Jazzy the "pirate". She will eat anything at any time, including pushing the other dogs away from their food bowls if we aren't watching. I feel your pain!

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  4. Thanks for understanding! I really appreciate your comment!

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  5. OMG! Terra is sooo the same way! =O She is a total foodie too. Once, when I left her home, she managed to get into a whole bag of food. She ate so much, I was seriously terrified we were going to have to take her to the vet. She did not know when to stop eating... She was 4x her normal size, and her belly was so hard. Then she drank some water (which was I didn't realize was bad till later, because then the kibble expands), and luckily she threw a lot of it up. She didn't get food for the next day and a half, and thankfully her system managed to pass everything. I credit it to her chewing up the weirdest stuff growing up and her having a stomach of steel. I've learned not to leave ANY food where she can get it >.>

    I love sharing food with my dogs, and I'll never give that up. They were also super fat each not too long ago, but now they are ideal weight and beautiful (we're going to do a Blog Post on this and we will have to find some pics of them all) :) I just learned to portion their food and am learning to portion my own too so I also get to the ideal weight ^.^ If I feed them treats during the day and we don't do much, they just get a bit less during dinner. But if they get a LOT of exercise, then they get normal food (or more) in addition to treats. It's just a matter of balance for all of us, so don't feel bad about sharing with Bliss. You can also show your love by playing games and fetch/frisbee or other activities with her :)

    Now about Bliss running away with pizza in her mouth....Terra used to be a very bad counter surfer when I got her and she would take forbidden objects and haul @ss out of there, hoarking down the food on the way. Teach Bliss to bring things to you-all kinds of objects and work on exchanging currency with acceptable objects (she gives you her toy and you give her a treat or different toy) so when it comes to forbidden objects, it's the same principle. I began asking Terra what she had and encouraging her to show (give) it to me, then I'd give it back to her. Now she looves to show me her bones and treats, because she knows she'll get them back. And I ask her to bring different things to me, and she gets a yummy treat for it. She really enjoys picking up her clicker or other things and throwing them at me ;)

    Bliss is adorable! She's like a combination of Terra & Kronos-the two different colored eyes like Kronos and a Merle like Terra <3

    Wags and Kisses,
    Tiffany, Bella, Terra, & Kronos

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