Friday, November 30, 2012

Does This Collar Make Me Look Fat?


You guys, Basil is on somewhat of a diet.

Several months ago when I took him into the vet for a skin irritation, the veteranarian told me he needed to lose a few pounds.



Up until that point, we'd been excited to see how big he'd get each time we took him to the vet, hoping he'd get up in the mid to high 80 pound range. When the vet told me he weighed 84 pounds, I got very excited until he said we actually needed to watch it and that a better range for weims is more in the 75 pound range.


In general, Basil has a large frame for a weimaraner. When we first got him, we got a chance to see his grandfather, who was a giant dog — maybe 90-100 pounds if I'm not over exaggerating. So we expected and hoped that Basil would be somewhat big (not fat, just big). That being said, we tried to keep a better eye on what we were feeding him and how much after that last vet visit.


So after a few months of trying to feed him what we thought was a healthier diet (he already gets tons of exercise), we were excited to hear the results during his latest checkup this past weekend. After he got off the scale, they announced that he's gained 3.5 pounds!

Oh my...87.5 pounds.


It was a different doctor at the vet office that saw him this go round and before weighing him they kept commenting on how big and great he looks. You know, the kind of big that is still healthy and good looking.

In the end, after the exam, this doctor agreed that while his frame is larger for a weim and he looks great and is healthy — that there is actually a tiny bit of room for weight loss. She said she'd love for us to shoot for 83 pounds over the next several months. She basically said that with hunting dogs like Basil, keeping a leaner frame is actually better for them, then she joked that he should have an hourglass looking figure — a deep low chest and a high inline waist.


I'm a total pushover when it comes to food. I just don't like the idea of anyone feeling hungry when there is plenty of food (even dog food) around. In any case, I told the veterinarian this go round that we've been feeding him probably about 2 solid cup fulls of food twice a day, sometimes with a cooked egg or wet dog food mixed in, along with natural treats all throughout the day.

She handed me a plastic cup measuring exactly 1 cup and said "for starters, let's make sure it's really just 2 cups twice a day."

C'mon dad, is this really all I get?

So that's where we're at. We're trying 2 exact cups along with regular treats and just keeping an eye on things. They told us we can come into the office anytime and weigh him on the big scale for free and suggested we come back in about 3 weeks to see how things are going.

All I could think was, it's the holidays! How unfair is it to have to be weighed during the holidays!


Poor Basil.

Have you ever had to put one of your pets on a diet? My sister has two dachshunds (see some shots from their visit with us here) and the older of the two is overweight. They joke that when the dogs stay with my mom on the farm that they are "going to Gran's bootcamp" since they always come back a few pounds lighter than when they were dropped off.

Basil sure did have a great time running around the farm over Thanksgiving — maybe a trip back to Gran's bootcamp is in order? We'll be sure to keep you posted.

16 comments:

  1. I have a "mini" dachshund that weighs in around 14lbs when she's a healthy weight. Obviously super important for their backs, and they are a hunting breed as well with the whole big-chest-narrow-waist thing. Now, 14lbs is over the limit for the "mini" designation, but her parents were on the bigger side in the bones department. Unfortunately, we've recently had to go through a lengthy steroid treatment and she's up to around 17lbs. So we're on the diet train too. On the fortunate side, the holidays mean trips home where my parents have a big house, big yard AND another mini to play with, so we should be starting the new year closer to goal weight.
    But it is hard. They are so darn cute! Have you tried green beans and carrots for treats?

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    1. They ARE so cute — it's hard not to give in. But we are doing well — thanks so much for your words of encouragement!

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  2. I am very suspicious of dog food just as I am very suspicious of what we are told is healthy for humans since there is more than enough evidence to show that a low fat diet is totally wrong for 90% of the population. When our canine friends' ancestors roamed the earth in packs they did not search out corn meal or rice. Vets sell dog food to supplement their income, not because they are altruistic and want to make sure your pet gets the very best. Our dog's severe skin allergies and weight has gotten much better since we've been feeding him the food that we found to be the highest in protein and fat. Those other ingredients are put there just to stretch the formula and make it cheaper to produce.

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    1. Rick I think you are right — would love to know what you're feeding your dog that's proven to be highest in protein and fat!

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  3. I went to the Vet a few months ago and she said it was the first time she has ever had to tell anyone that their dog needs to gain weight! I have two dogs both King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, one is perfect weight the other is a little skinny. The one that is really skinny is an maniac ball chaser. She even "runs" in her sleep. I love watching her little paws move when she is snoozing. I have always stuck to using a measuring cup to feed the dogs. I always give her a half cup more then the other dog because she is my little athlete. I am stingy on the treats and only give them home made dog treats when they do something good. Now I give her another 1/4cup of food but her weight is still the same. She has been the same weight for the past 6 yrs and my other vet had never said anything about. I am starting to thing this is really her ideal weight and no matter how much food I give she won't put on another pound!

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    1. That is too funny Katherine! It sounds like my sister and I — she can't put on weight for the life of her (nice problem to have, haha) and I've always erred on the side of "big boned?" haha.

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  4. We have a cat that has a very large frame and can gain weight in a hurry. We put him on the diet food the vet recommended and measured every meal. Cat gained more weight. So I did some research and found that some cats can't handle the carbs in dry food. I switched him to wet food and whoosh! Weight came flying off and he was a lot more active. Kind of like Atkins diet for cats... He likes the wet food better too. Maybe it could work for Basil.
    Berni

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    1. That is awesome — sounds like higher protein might be the way to go!

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  5. Buddy had to go on a diet once after our trip to Europe - everyone just loved him and kept feeding him. He did lose it pretty fast though - but he is a smaller dog, much more active around the house on top of daily exercise.

    Instead of regular treats we give Buddy fruit and veggies throughout the day aside from his meals. Apples, bananas, blueberries, carrots, celery, etc. He gets his doggie treats every once in a while.

    I think Basil looks great!

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    1. Thanks Hande — we are pretty biased, ha. Love the idea of swapping in fruits and veggies for his treats.

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  6. We have four cats, two of which eat when they are hungry and two that would eat until the cows came home. So, in order to keep the overeaters on track we have to measure out their food. They get 3tbsp of cat food each three times a day. They get it three times a day because those two would eat all of their food in one go and then eat the other cat's food for the rest of the day. Ah the joys of a multiple pet home.

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    1. Too funny — they sure do keep us on our toes, right?

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  7. When we buy Willow treats first they go to the chopping board and we chop them all up to 1/2cm chunks (yes really small!) and keep them in a mason jar. She enjoys having a treat and doesn't really care how big they are. She only gets treats for training or to tolerate something unpleasant like ear cleaning. This saves the pennies and saves her eating too much junk...

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    1. Love this idea — our vet also told us we could give as small as kibble for his treats, that they really just want to feel that love/affection that comes with being rewarded.

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  8. My "stepdog" Emma eats about 2 cups of food twice a day (she's a lab mix) with the occasional natural dog treat, baked sweet potato or lean chicken from time to time. About 6-months ago when my boyfriend and I moved in together I insisted we start feeding her holistic, gluten-free food that was predominantly meat. She naturally lost about 5-6 lbs and has a lot more energy.

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    1. Wow Annabel, that is awesome! We use Blue Buffalo brand dog food — I'd love to know the holistic approach you are taking.

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Thank you for taking the time to read and comment here in our corner of the world.

P.S. Any comments from the animal kingdom will be forwarded to Basil in a timely manner.