Yep. I took my little Pippa to the vet this week and as the vet was examining her, she said that she’s getting a little “pudgy”. Do you know how awful it feels for a personal trainer to be told that their own dog is overweight?!
Unfortunately, I can’t put my finger on the single cause of it, but it could be a combination of a number of things…as it usually is with people.
1. Our walks aren’t 100% consistent.
2. She likes to sneak into her brother’s food dish. (Please note, he is at a perfectly healthy weight.)
3. She was eating wet food along with dry food.
4. She was spayed earlier this year, thus part of it might be hormonal.
I had originally suspected that she was putting on a little weight and I had already started making some changes in her diet. I never really give my dogs ‘people food,’ so that’s not an issue. But they did have some turkey on Thanksgiving! After all, I’m not evil! So here are the changes we’re making (and I think they have started to work as she seems a little slimmer than she did a couple months ago.)
1. I stopped giving my dogs any wet food. Let me also add that their poo is immaculate since dropping the canned food too! (TMI? I don’t care. This is huge, especially when you have to pick up their poo on walks!)
2. I have started seriously measuring out her portion sizes with a little measuring cup instead of eyeballing it. But the poor girl’s appetite is insatiable…therefore….
3. The vet said I could take away some of her kibble and add in some carrots and/or peas. (Volumetrics! Filling up on veggies instead of dense, higher calorie foods.)
4. I have been picking up her brother’s food when he has finished, so she can’t get to his remaining kibble.
5. We’re going to be much more consistent with her walks and make them at least half an hour a day, if not longer.
6. And she only gets a tiny bite of a fun treat per day. Sorry, girl…
I’m also measuring her waist now to track the changes. She’s at 15.5″ right now and a little over 10 lbs. Her healthy spot is closer to 9-9.5 lbs. And these tiny changes in weight mean a lot on a dog that small!
Now some of you may be wondering why I’m telling you all this about my dog. Well, something we can all take away from a situation like this is that these simple rules apply to everyone. If you take in more calories than your body can burn, you’re going to put on weight. Plain and simple. And for a tiny 9-10lb. Chihuahua, those excess calories can add up really fast! Small women, take note…this can apply to you too. We just don’t get to eat as much food as larger people! (Although, if you put on a lot of muscle, you’ll get to eat a little more.) It may not be fair, but since when is life fair? It’s better to accept it now and move on.