Friday, February 11, 2011

Doggie Diet

So I'm afraid I've been a bit overly successful in putting weight on the girls.

Autumn came to me at 37 pounds. I was told to put about 3 on her. But she now weighs in at a whopping 49. If I were to do the same in proportion, I'd be around 160 pounds (I think it's a fair comparison because she is a smaller, lean-shaped dog, and I am a smaller, lean-shaped person). That is totally unacceptable, especially in a senior dog.

Linden came to me at 39 pounds. I was told to make her lose 2 or so, which she promptly did, but then turned around and gained 7, for a current weight of 44.

I've changed nothing about their diet or activity level since they've come to me. Linden's definitely dropped fat and gained muscle, and I'm comfortable with her shape. Autumn, however, has definitely gained both muscle and fat, and while the former is great, the latter is not so much.

So the diet plan is:

1) A switch to the senior version of their kibble. At almost 12, they are definitely seniors now. And no amount of my denial and melancholy will change that. It's lower in fat and higher in fiber.

2) Tiny biscuits, obviously intended for chihuahua-sized dogs. LOL.

3) Fewer cheese snacks. :(

4) In compensation, they can have more carrots, and all the moose marbles out of the yard they want, and I won't yell at them for it. Which is probably good for older dogs, anyway, seeing as moose eat tons and tons of willow bark, which is a natural source of aspirin. A snack that protects against achy joints! Yay!

5) I've also switched Linden to a Manmat distance harness, which is adjustable so will fit her for a range of weights. The last time I stuffed her into her old X-back, which had used to fit her as if it were custom-made, she looked like a sausage in a casing. Autumn's long already been using a Manmat, since she detests X-back harnesses, and hangs her head and droops her ears and gets this cringing, put-upon, "woe-is-me" look if you put one on her.

And that's the conclusion of the girls' annual exam. In addition to the regular commentary from my crisply efficient, no-nonsense Austrian vet regarding Autumn's weight, they got updated rabies and distemper/parvo shots. I remember when rabies shots used to be annual, and now they are every three years! My vet says that the vaccine is essentially the same; all that's changed is the new research showing that it protects them for three years. What we don't get is heart worm preventative, or flea/tick treatment. No such problems in Interior Alaska!


rena said...

Well I am glad to hear they are being treated well. They actually -want- to eat moose poop? That doesn't make any sense to me. None at all.

mdr said...

Make sure their human gets her annual exam as well.

The major difference is they used to live outdoors with their other siblings and dogs. It might be healthier for them?!

Arvay said...

Wolves like moose marbles, too. I heard it's a source of vitamins C and A for them. Autumn also eats Millie's stray raisins if any happen to roll to the edge of or out of her pen. Linden, not so much. It's gotta be moose. She has her standards.