Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Banting for dogs

  Despite being an active, trail-loving dog, my Rusty is on the heavier side of the scale.

On that first afternoon when she came into my life almost four years ago, we went to the vet for her vaccinations and deworming. The vet recommended dog food for her and guided me on her meal portion - to eat for the weight that she should be and not what she currently weighed. She gained weight.

She then went on to Hills weight loss programme. We did regular weigh-ins and she still ate for the weight that she should be and not that she was. She didn't lose more than 1kg and was always, always hungry. That must have been about 2.5 years on Hills.

Just over a year ago I changed to Orijen. It's a pricey, higher-protein food that is lower on the cereal side. I still fed her less than recommended for her weight, especially as she is not very active in the day - only when she comes out with me. She was definitely more satisfied but her weight just remained stable.

I then swopped to Acana and Montego Field & Forest. Also a good protein contribution but a bit less costly than Orijen. Same effect - better satisfied than on Hills but stable weight. It has just not been reasonable for me to drop her food amount even more. 

On the treat side (of course she gets treats!), she has 1-2 dog cookies a day (small size dog ones), half a rollie before bed and some training treats (they get broken in half). Her granny has had to be strictly addressed on not giving her too many treats.

We started dog school last week. The classes are obedience with some agility for fun. Rusty was a star.

Her teacher addressed her weight and recommended that she does a banting diet. For the next six weeks, Rusty is on a meat diet. There is chicken, ostrich, lamb, beef - it is meat and offal all ground up together (yuck!). I do lightly cook it because raw is just a bit too much for me to handle!

Rusty has had four days on it and for the first time in four years she is not an always-ravenous dog! She is totally satisfied for hours after her meals and does not seek food and treats during the day.

Her weight has always been a concern, especially as she is my outdoors companion and extra weight on joints (for people too!) is never good. Rusty is approaching 10 years so it is even more important that she goes into her senior years in the best condition possible.

Rusty does not have an hour-glass figure - yet.

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