Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mr. Healthy

Good news from the vet trip last Saturday — Sensi is a healthy dog!
He lost five pounds during the last year, due mostly to the fact that he was not around my parents as much as the year before.
This is a true testament to what people food does to your dog.
Everyone seems to be aware nowadays that people food is not good for our dogs. It packs on the pounds like nothing else, and the scary thing is how much more one pound of additional weight affects our dogs verse how it affects us.
Every extra pound is a heavy burden for our pets. Often, though, it’s just too hard to turn away from those beggin’ eyes.
Brent and I, from the very start, said we weren’t going to have a begging dog. This means no people food. Once you start feeding people food to a dog, you set in motion those beggin’ eyes and they’ll never go away.
Not to say he’s missing variety in his life. We keep three different kinds of yummy but low-fat dog treats in the house, he also can have green beans, carrots and potatoes — real, raw potatoes, not processed things like French Fries or greasy things like hash browns — and we spice up meal time every once in a while with a can of wet food.
But this was never enough for my parents, who are convinced that I am a horrible dog mother for not enriching his life with a daily sampling of all our meals.
So, they snuck him people food whenever my back was turned.
Last year at the annual vet visit, Sensi weighed 92 pounds and we were told he needed to shed some weight.
Nothing has changed in our lifestyle except the fact that Sensi is no longer around my parents for several days of every week.
A year later, he’s 86.2 pounds — a weight that the vet said is “ideal for Sensi.”
He’s aging, which means his bones and joints are aging too, and taking off those five pounds will make it that much easier for him to get around.
My advice to all of you is to find a common ground regarding people food. Find some things you can give your dog that aren’t hugely fattening, but enable you to lose the guilt about not giving him people food.
Keep in mind that whole, raw potatoes are great. Sensi plays with them like balls and chews on them like a dog bone.
Just throw them out before they get all rotten and gross!

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