Penny, the 60-pound Beagle!
Yes, I once had a beagle who grew to the humongous weight of 60 pounds, the first stray I took in, Penny. She was about 6 when rescued and was underweight Big Time. Soon she fattened up to normal beagle size, about 35 pounds. Then, like for many of us, she started to pack on extra pounds, and more extra pounds and more! Some of you have mentioned weight problems with your own pets, so I thought we’d discuss it.
The vet thought I might be overfeeding her, but I insisted I wasn’t because by then I had three dogs and I fed them the same (they were all the same weight). Penny also started drinking more water and acted hungry all the time, which isn’t unusual for a hound, as they are all pigs. LOL. Also, beagles, like labs and some other breeds are more prone to being overweight than others.
The vet did blood work and found her thyroid levels were way off. We started medication (it was very cheap) and she dropped 12 pounds! She remained overweight, because she was old by then and had arthritis (took pain meds for that) so she couldn’t exercise as much to help with the weight issues. She died of a heart failure when she was about 14.
The first thing to do when you have a pet with weight problems is to check with your vet to make sure, like with Penny, there are no underlying health problems. But for most pets, it’s simply a matter of too much food and not enough exercise. Sound familiar? There are many good diet formulas on the market. When you switch, just add a bit of the new food to the old, then day by day gradually add more until a complete switch is made. Follow your vet’s advice or make sure to give the amount of food based on the pet’s weight that’s listed on the food. Remember, dogs and cats are a lot smaller than we are and don’t need as much as we do!
I know we all love to give treats to the pets we love, so it’s hard to cut back, but instead of high-fat treats, get a big-chunk diet food and dole out one or two of these as a treat. They don't know the difference! NO people food and don’t forget exercise! Walks or romps in the house or yard will really make a difference for both of you. LOL. We all have to remember that food does not equal love in a dog or cat’s mind (well, not totally!). Love means doing what is best for them.
As a closing note, I wanted to mention my sister’s father-in-law, who is no longer with us. He fed his little poodle dog, Reggie, everything he himself ate, tossing him pieces of hot dog, cheese, human cookies or whatever. That little dog looked like a tick that had been sucking blood for a year he was so bloated and fat. And one morning, Reggie was found dead in the hallway at the age of 5. Too much food love really can hurt, and love shouldn’t have to hurt, right?
posted by Sandy at 1/17/2007 11:40:00 AM