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It is estimated that 54% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. This can be detrimental to a dog’s health, affecting its quality of life and life expectancy. Senior Dogs are already at more risk for cardiac disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis so being overweight enhances those risks.
October 9th is Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Perfect time to tell you about Riley’s weight loss journey this year.
Riley is our 9 year old Black Labrador Retriever and she was diagnosed as being Obese. At her last vet check up, she weighed 108 lbs. Riley started gaining weight after her heat stroke a couple years ago. As she gained weight and got older, she was limping around and acting lethargic. Even though it’s harder for her to exercise because she can over heat and her joints are sore; it’s still important she is at a healthy weight as she ages. It is a lot of times harder for senior dogs to lose weight.
I knew we had to do something the day I threw Riley a treat, and because it didn’t land within reach, she just left it. Here is a picture of her on one one of our first new “Operation Dog Weight Loss” routine walks. She was telling me she was done. She had done about 2 laps on the trail around our yard. We have a large fenced in area so we can walk in what feels like the woods, but it’s fenced.
I also took her swimming as much as I could because that is so much easier on her joints. She absolutely loves to swim and it is an ideal workout for a senior dog.
FitPAWS also has strength and conditioning dog exercise equipment to use indoors. Senior dogs tend to lose muscle in their hind quarters. You can help build it back up by incorporating the low-impact FitPAWS equipment.
What we are doing for Riley’s “Operation Dog Weight Loss” mission.
- Focused on Food – no more tossing her leftovers or giving her table scraps and NO MORE commercial dog food. I didn’t realize how bad some dog food was! We also made a regular feeding schedule; feeding her at 2 scheduled times and not just filling her bowl up for her to eat throughout the day. We switched to Taste of the Wild. The dogs love it and I am comfortable knowing exactly what is in it. Chewy ships for free and auto-ships with 5% discount. Win Win!
- Healthy treats – Riley loves cucumbers and pumpkin, these are given to her daily. There are amazing benefits in pumpkin if you missed our dog blog on it! Cucumbers are also a very healthy snack and are mostly water.
- Daily Exercise – We made sure Riley had multiple walks, swims or games of fetch. When we first started, she had no interest in fetch but now she has more energy and is fetching again! I love seeing her active!! I also kept a daily log on how many laps she would do or how long she would swim/play. Here is our blog on how much exercise dogs need a day, with indoor and outdoor options.
- CBD Hemp oil – Hemp oil made a big difference. Riley no longer limps and she is happy to take it daily. CBD is good for all dogs, especially if they have joint and muscle pain, anxiety, and much more. CBD is completely safe and it will not get your pet high. It works as a pain reducer and gets rid of inflammation faster than some prescription drugs but without the side effects.
Before this year, I didn’t know much at all about CBD Hemp oil. When it comes to buying it you do not want to just buy the cheapest. You want to make sure it’s tested and Full-Spectrum oil. That is why we are also happy to partner with WI Hemp Scientific! We love how they are helping dog shelters and there is no question about the quality! Read more about hemp oil here and get a discount from us!
Riley after and before her healthy weight loss!
I love that people comment on her progress and notice when they stop by or see pictures! But what I love the most is seeing her so happy! Today she weighed in at 99 lbs. What a difference a weight loss of 9 lbs makes! Plus the healthy diet!
Yesterday when I went to pick up the kids from school she hopped up in my vehicle with no help! I cheered and she was very proud of herself!
Make sure to subscribe to our blog to keep up to date with health information on dog weight loss and exercise! I have really enjoyed walking her everyday also, the bonding and the fitness for myself!
For those of you who follow our Facebook page and have seen progressive Riley pictures…thanks for all the love! For those the rest of you, make sure to get connected with us on FB for daily posts of inspiration!