Week 11 Lesson 1
How’s your dog’s weight loss shaping up?
Let’s find out with weigh-in number 5. Then take stock of your efforts by stacking up those butter containers to show how much weight your dog has lost. Don’t forget to experience your dog’s weight loss by strapping on a backpack and carrying around the weight your dog has lost so far!
Please share pictures to your support group to show just how far you have come:)
(Jump to 00:17 to skip intro. Tap cc for captions.)
Human Weight Equivalents
To grasp the impact of food choices and their effect on weight gain, it helps to consider things in human terms. Check out these human and dog equivalents:
- A female Labrador weighing 90 lb (40 kg) is the equivalent of an adult woman weighing 184 lb (84 kg).
- A Yorkshire Terrier weighing 12 lb (5.5 kg) is the equivalent of a adult woman weighing 223 lb (102 kg).
- 1 oz (28 g) of cheddar cheese provides 20% of the daily calorie requirements for a medium sized dog weighing 22 lb (10 kg).
- 1 oz (28 g) of cheddar cheese for a medium sized dog, is the equivalent of an adult woman eating one and a half 50 g chocolate bars (2.6 oz.)
- 1 piece of buttered toast for a dieting Chihuahua is the equivalent of a woman eating 11 pieces of buttered toast!
- On an ounce-for-ounce basis, many commercial dog treats contain more calories than a McDonald’s Big Mac Burger!
Game of the Week: Obstacle Course
Mix up your play repertoire with a doggy obstacle course. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor play, you can create a course out of garden and furniture items. Then run through the course encouraging your dog to follow. (Picture agility dogs and their trainers!)
Ideas: create tunnels through chair legs, weave in and out of spaced chairs or plant pots, run up and down stairs, jump onto on a low platform such as a table or log.
How to Prevent Rebound Weight Gain
Having come so far, it is time to arm yourself and your dog against the possibility of rebound weight gain!
It is important to recognise the risks for rebound weight gain and to have in place an action plan to prevent unnoticed weight creeping back on.
Listed here are the top 6 causes of rebound weight gain.
Take time to recognise the following 6 hazards and then plan how you will manage your dog’s risk for rebound weight gain.
6 Causes of Rebound Weight Gain
1. Failure to maintain long-term dietary change: A relaxed attitude to portioning where owners stop measuring dog food portions and gradually increase the number of treats and left-overs fed to their dog. (This is the most common cause of rebound weight gain!)
2. Reduced activity levels: not keeping up with regular walks. (If your dog’s overall activity level reduces, food intake will also need to be reduced to prevent a positive calorie balance.)
3. Change in diet: e.g. feeding higher calorie foods without providing corrections in portion size.
4. Changes within household: e.g. the arrival of another pet creating an additional food source, loss of control over household members feeding the dog.
5. A change in health: where your dog experiences disease, injury or ageing leading to reduced metabolic rate or reduced activity levels.
6. Failure to regularly weigh and Body Condition Score your dog: allowing early weight gain to go unnoticed.
All 6 causes can be effective managed by simply modifying diet and calorie intake. Owners need to pay attention to fluctuations in their dog’s weight, remembering weight gain is a gradual process that can be easily missed.
For this reason, your number one tool against weight rebound is to regularly Condition Score and weigh your dog. Once you achieve your dog’s healthy weight, aim to do this monthly and adjust your dog’s food intake accordingly. Do not let weight gain go unnoticed.
Woofs and wags,
Your WAGSTA team.