Here is Gerry’s successful strategy for reducing her wonderful Golden retriever’s weight. Thank you Gerry for sharing this.Image

Moving from rural Maine to the city of Portland, Oregon was a big change for Rufus. He has always been pretty slim, in part because he has a false rear hip joint. due to a stress fracture that required shaving the bone, disconnecting the ball and socket joint. Over time, Rufus has developed muscle mass to compensate for the missing joint. Once here, between the city life, new food, and a somewhat distracted owner, Rufus gained weight. When he weighed in at the vet 4 months after moving here, Rufus had gone from 69 lbs. to 81lbs., a 12 lb increase.

To get Rufus back to a good weight, I did the following:

First, I looked for a dog food with a lower fat to protein ration. You would be amazed how much fat is in some dry dog food. I began to cut his food back from 3 cups a day, 1 in the morning and 2 at night to 1 in the morning and 11/4 at night.

In addition, each night, Rufus gets a kong, packed with peanut butter and his dry kibble. I replaced most of the kibble with chopped apple to cut calories.

I buy dog biscuits for little dogs and only give very small treats while training and never just give him a cookie for the heck of it.

Every morning we walk 21/2 miles before I leave for work. In the afternoon, we walk another 1-2 miles or I take Rufus to an off-leash dog park where he plays with other dogs and often gets some good wrestling in. On weekends, we hike or kayak, (yes he sits in my boat with me) and he swims.

The result is that after 3 months, Rufus weighed in at 67 lbs. where he remains now.You can actually feel his ribs, a sign that he is at an ideal weight. If I could only be as diligent with my own portion control!

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October 25, 2009

Last Friday when I walked the 5th dog in a downpour I suddenly had the eureka moment about dog coats! as I wiped down this dog and took a good 10 minutes to get her decent to roam the house I thought how nice if she had a rain coat. It would have taken half the time.

My own Labs were drip dry and I used a “mud room” system of bringing them through the garage before they were allowed back in the house. As a dog walker we are on a schedule and the extra time spent drying dogs off could be cut down considerably. May be we need to add a selection of coats to our pet sitters  “kit” in the trunk. It does include towels,poo bags, leashes and front clip halters, why not dog coats?

I am now thinking that a dog coat is a tool, not a prissy outfit.