Tubby Puppy

After a few failed attempts to cure Patches’ sore leg, we became concerned that something was actually wrong with our dog. He’s been stiff and sore after playing, and squirms away when you press on him. The vet thought he was maybe having trouble with his back, but hasn’t been able to do anything more than tell us that yes, he is sore. So, today we dropped Patches off for some x-rays to locate the problem. Four sets of x-rays, sedation, much poking and prodding of the dog, and $500 later it turns out his bones, joints and tendons are fine. The diagnosis – our dog is SO fat that his weight is causing his pain. Yup, apparently he’s so overweight that he is at risk of serious injury just by jumping up and down. Seriously?
My first thought when the vet called was “thank goodness, no expensive surgery required”, my second thought was “noooooo! I can’t be the person with the fat dog, we’re so fit! Really!”. I agree, he’s not an olympian but, and maybe this is just because he’s my dog, I didn’t think he was that fat. But the vet insists – the dog must lose weight. So, the dog goes on a diet.

The problem with the diet? He’s already on one. See, we’ve had Patches on a diet for the past 8 months since the vet last told us he needed to slim down – and all he’s done is gain weight, 6 kg to be exact (that’s about 13 lbs, or slightly more than Donnelly weighs). It’ s obviously not working, so we’re now on the vet selected diet. 2 cups of food – no more, no less. No treats, no bones, nothing. Just those two cups of dry food a day. And more exercise. It’s going to be hard on the dog (he’s the one being starved) but it’s also going to be hard on us. We’ll adjust to the food regime – that’s his regular amount – but the no treats will be hard. And the more exercise? He’s already walking 30 minutes before work, and either running or walking 2.5 – 4 miles after work, and apparently that’s not enough.

Because we love our dog, we’ll just move all the eddible items out of reach, ignore his pleading looks and spend more time dog walking (and less time eating) if that’s what it takes. But I’m still having a hard time trying to figure out how we’re going to fit in enough exercise to take off 20 lbs (mostly because I think marathon training is bad for his leg). At his ideal weight loss rate, he’s supposed to lose 0.5 lb a week. 20 lbs = 40 weeks = almost 10 months! That’s a lot of extra workouts. I’m counting on most of the weight coming off due to reduced food intake, but we’ll still have to replace all the “rest”* days on our marathon schedule with “cross-training: very long dog walk, up hill both ways”.

He’s got his first “weigh-in” in two weeks, but we’ve been warned not to be disappointed if he doesn’t lose anything in the first couple weeks. We’ll keep our fingers crossed, hope the new dog food is like a miracle diet product, log a few more miles and maybe Patches will be ready for swim suite season.

*Note: We don’t actually rest on our training rest days – or I would expect us to have a fat dog. Every day is a dog walk (or two) day at the MacDonald house. “No rest for the wicked”….


4 thoughts on “Tubby Puppy

  1. Oh! I feel badly but I am glad it is not anything more than the chubbo. He can come here and join the old folks in a weight loss program. what about his thyroid? blame it on the meds?

    1. As in “he has a gland problem”? I don’t think the vet is buying it! I’m sure he’d love to be with you guys – hours of running in the forest would slim him down in no time.

  2. If The Biggest Loser is any indication, he’ll lose 5 pounds his first week, then nothing the next. But, I don’t know if that applies to dogs or just super fat people.

    1. Well, he is a super fat dog apparently, so I’m sure it applies the same way. I think the biggest difference is that Jillian and Bob won’t be around to push him to his limits.

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