Whole Dog Journal's Blog November 1, 2011

A Fresh Look at the Pets...and Their Weight!

Posted at 12:58PM - Comments: (7)

I’ve been away from home for six days and nights (combined business trip and opportunity to see my kid play in a national championship for his sport). My husband was home feeding the animals (my dog Otto, niece’s dog/long-term foster Peanut, two former kittens/now juvenile cats/pests, three chickens). My first impression when I get home: none of the animals have had ANY affection since I left town (doubt this is true), and all the animals are too fat!

Now, I know that when I’m gone, the dogs don’t get walked or taken for off-leash play, and the cats get NO love (husband is not a cat guy; he’s not really a dog guy, either, but he does like Otto and Peanut). So, they were probably more obnoxious than usual about looking for attention and affection. Which my husband seems to translate as, “They must be hungry.”

Can animals really pack on the weight in just a week of overfeeding? Is it possible they were on the way to chubby before I left, and I just didn’t notice it because I see them every day? All I know is that with my just-home perspective, I need to hit the trail with the dogs, spend some time working the cats up and down the hall with their toys, and cut everybody’s portions back a bit.

Going away and seeing your pets with fresh eyes is a great way to really assess them. I just hope my husband’s not seeing *me* the same way, after a week of eating out and no exercise!

Comments (7)

Yes, I could still see a waist when looking down at my GSD; just not as defined as it "should" be. So, he went on a diet. Everyone I spoke to said their dogs dropped weight when fed Sojo's or Honest Kitchen's Dehydrated food. I thought great! and went from raw to
Sojo's. I alternate with Honest Kitchen and add little bits of organs and green tripe and ground turkey. One night a week is bone night, when he gets some chicken necks and a knuckle bone to gnaw on. He has lost 23 lbs in 7 months! Our goal was 98 lb and we have 2 to go. My vet is thrilled (we have been checking in every other week), he moves much better and he's just gorgeous! If it's done carefully...the results are amazing!

Posted by: Andrea K | November 2, 2011 4:20 PM    Report this comment

I have a golden lab and he is a big boy (105) not over weight for his size but I still watch him like the mother hawk I am. The bane of our life is fig season! He whines to get out to forage for figs. This time of year he gets a change in his diet to cooked vegetables, meat and vitamins. And I hide the banana bread!

Posted by: Suzanne B | November 1, 2011 6:11 PM    Report this comment

It's as easy to over-feed dogs & cats as it is to over-feed ourselves! So when I had to travel & left my husband in charge of feeding the dog & cat (both get home-made raw diets) I made it easy for him NOT to over-feed by giving him a way to quickly measure portions. (Fortunately our cat never over-eats.) Using a small container that held exactly the correct amount for our dog's morning & evening meals meant she maintained a healthy weight in my absence even with treats!

Posted by: didalpf | November 1, 2011 6:04 PM    Report this comment

If I can gain 5 pounds in a week, why can't my dog?

Posted by: Barbara L | November 1, 2011 4:55 PM    Report this comment

One of my dogs seems to be able to gain and lose weight quickly. If I decide she is looking a little plump, I can cut back her food and in a few days she seems better. If she's looking a little skinny, I can add a little food and she fattens up a bit. My other dog resists change more, and I have to make a longer-term effort to adjust her weight. That being said, they are always within a few pounds of the same weight when I bring them to the vet (40-45 pound dogs, so "a few pounds" is about 5% of their weight).

Posted by: Tracy N | November 1, 2011 4:32 PM    Report this comment

We have fruit trees in our backyard, which our dogs (1 lab, 1 lab mix) forage from avidly. Particularly during fig season, they munch their way to extra weight fast! So I would say, Yes, dogs CAN look "sturdier" in a week. But it wouldn't hurt to put them on a scale before and after your next trip, just to be sure. :)

Posted by: LINDA F | November 1, 2011 4:21 PM    Report this comment

"Can animals really pack on the weight in just a week of overfeeding?" In the case of my 11 lbs. dog, a little over indulgence shows up right away. An ounce or two gain makes a big difference on a small animal!

Posted by: Carolyn M | November 1, 2011 3:39 PM    Report this comment

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