I used to be a fat dog.
There, I said it, I was fat.
My owners didn’t seem to care or notice and since I love to eat, who was I to try and tell them?
I would look at them with my big eyes whenever food was around. I would beg like I hadn’t eaten for days and they always fell for that trick.
Table leftovers, yep, all mine.
Treats, yep, whenever I asked.
I would act like I was always hungry so they gave me plenty of food too. Humans are so easy to trick!
Yes, it kept getting harder to stand up and I was glad they didn’t walk me very much or try to make me run.
But then, one day I just wasn’t feeling right. And then it became painful just to walk around.
But I’m a dog who loves to eat so how am I supposed to make the connection?
So my owners finally took me to see a dog doctor, ugh.
Mr. Dog Doctor checked me all over and even took some blood. Hey, when is he going to give me my blood back?
He said I was too heavy for my size, a nice way of calling me fat.
He told my people being overweight can cause a lot of health and skin problems, heart disease and arthritis.
He said something about a possible thyroid issue and something about too much weight weakening my hips.
Then he said some stuff about getting diabetes because I was overweight.
He said if I became diabetic I would need to get a shot of something called insulin every day, twice a day.
Eeeew, not that. I hate shots.
Then he said that by being overweight it would even shorten my lifespan and this got their attention. Mine too!
My owners asked Mr Dog Doctor, what should we do?
He said only feed the amount required for the ideal weight of your dog.
If you like to give him treats then you need to reduce the amount of food you give him.
If you are going to feed table scraps just make sure they are healthy. No fats, no cooked bones. Remember to reduce the amount of dog food if you are going to give table scraps.
He said be sure to feed a good quality food, that even though the food might be more expensive, you will more than save that in vet bills later on. Look for food that doesn’t have too many fillers or artificial flavors and colors and is low in sugar and salt. Try the weight management formula also. He said you wouldn’t feed your kids candy bars for all their meals, right? So get a good, quality food.
He said some of his patients just keep some of the regular kibble in a cup or something like that and just use that for treats.
He also said cut back on the amount of kibble and add something like canned green beans, those one’s with no salt, and they would help me feel full without adding calories.
Then he talked about exercise. He said I must get exercise, every day.
Good grief, eat less and exercise more. I don’t think I like this dog doctor.
So my owners took me home and I heard them talking when they thought I wasn’t listening.
They were doing something called making a plan. I have a plan, sleep and eat, how’s that?
Next time they fed me did they think I wouldn’t notice it was less food? Well, the green beans actually weren’t so bad.
After eating they put a leash on me and made me walk. Later, they threw a ball and made me chase it.
They kept this up for days, or maybe weeks, its hard to keep track of time if you’re a dog.
Then, I really started to feel better. It became easier to stand up, felt good when I ran around, and I didn’t hear any more talk about that diabetes stuff.
My owners seemed to be happy when they put me on a scale and noticed I was actually losing weight.
I feel so much better. I’m kind of glad they care enough about me to watch my weight.
Now when I’m out and I see a fat dog I feel bad for him. I feel bad that his owners don’t love him enough to make sure he stays a healthy weight. I guess they think they show their love by giving their dog all they want to eat.
That’s what I used to think too, but I see now that humans are actually pretty smart, smarter than us dogs. And since they are the one’s taking care of us it’s their responsibility to make sure we stay healthy.
A few months later they took me back to visit the dog doctor. He was really impressed with all of us and said my weight was just what it should be.
He even gave me a cookie!
I like this dog doctor.
I wish I could thank them for taking me to the vet and listening to his advice and helping me lose that weight.
I will thank them the only way I know how. I will just love them and be their loyal dog.
Thanks guys, for helping me be healthy.