Don’t feed your dog to death

FOR THE LOVE OF HIM: Buster pictured with owner Gabe Eichler is over six kilos lighter and reaping the rewards.

FOR THE LOVE OF HIM: Buster pictured with owner Gabe Eichler is over six kilos lighter and reaping the rewards.

FEBRUARY this year I had real health concerns about my 12 year old best mate and four legged Labrador companion Buster. He was depressed and not walking the best and thought that he was waiting and ready for the four paw pearly gates. I took him to the local Narooma Vet and spoke with Chris Spurgeon where he confirmed that Buster had torn his anterior cruciate ligament in his rear left leg.

Chris spoke to me directly and said that it was his years of being over-weight and over eating and with an injury Buster was now nearing a point of his wanting to live. As you can imagine this hit home really hard and I thought all these years I have been feeding him I have really been killing him with kindness.

Chris said all is not lost and if you want him to come back to a normal life you must immediately halve his food stop the snacks and he will start losing weight and feel better within himself.

I went home had a good cry and spoke at length with Buster that we were going beat this and to do this together. 

On that day in February Buster weighed 43.5kg and on the next visit to the vet two weeks later Buster lost 2kilos and started to feel good and reap the rewards. Today Buster is down to 36.3kg and still losing about 500gms in weight each fortnight, feeling so much better, happier within himself and his walking has improved tenfold and now even back to running. 

A life-long pet study from PURINA Pet Food, researchers have shown that a dog’s median life span can be extended by 15 per cent, that’s 1.8 years for Labradors, by feeding to ideal body condition through diet restriction.

The median life span was 11.2 years for the overweight group, versus 13 years for the lean-fed dogs. In addition overweight dogs exhibited more visible signs of ageing, such as greying muzzles, impaired gaits and reduced activity at an earlier age than the lean-fed dogs. Obesity remains the number one nutritional problem among dogs.

Studies have documented that at least 25 per cent of dogs in Australia may be overweight. To maximise your dogs’ health you should recognise the signs of obesity and feed to ideal body condition.

Overfed or obese is where your dog has no waist when viewed from above and the belly is rounded when viewed from the side.

Ideal body condition is where you can feel and see outline of ribs and your dog has a waist when viewed from above and the belly is tucked up when viewed from the side. 

Take it from me it works and start today if you want your loyal and loving companion around for as long as possible.

July is desexing month and there are rebates and discounts available through AWL and your local vet. All our animals are vet checked, wormed, desexed and if necessary retrained but most of all they are given tender loving care (TLC) and another chance in life. So why not adopt a pet through AWL, as you will be rewarded with their unconditional love in return. Call Shelagh on 0410 016 612 or emailawl.eurobodalla.nsw@gmail.com for more details. Dogs up to seven years are $280; Puppies $300; Cats up to seven years $120; and Kittens $170. Pets over seven years are negotiable.

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