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Helping Your Dog Lose Weight Benefits You As Well

29 15:32:39

When we rescued her from the local Humane Society five years ago, Kayla was 97 pounds of wriggling, jiggling, out-of-control two-year old Yellow Lab. Her previous owner had become ill and unable to care for her, and as a result, Kayla received lots of food and treats, little exercise, and even less discipline and training. But in spite of her less than svelte figure and her barely manageable behavior, one look into her amber eyes, and I fell in love with her.

When we brought her home, our first goal was to get some of that extra weight off her. So we put her on a strict diet and exercise regime, much like a human would do, to lose extra pounds. We had no idea what she had been eating, or how much, but she was clearly overweight in a potentially unhealthy way. After consulting our vet, we fed her the suggested amount of a dry, diet dog food, which she wolfed down without chewing in about five seconds flat. We gave her occasional low calorie doggie treats, and did not feed her any scraps from the table, no matter how much she begged. And in addition, we took her for at least two 30-minute walks per day, morning and evening, to get her some much-needed exercise, and work on her unrestrained behavior.

When I took Kayla for her first walk, it would barely be an exaggeration to say that she almost ripped my right arm out of its socket and dragged it down the street. She had not been trained to walk properly, and at 97 pounds, she could easily pull an adult off their feet. With a choke collar we were convinced she would literally choke herself to death because of her unbridled enthusiasm for walking and chasing rabbits, so we purchased a “gentle leader head collar” which is attached high at the top of the neck, with a nose loop that fits loosely and comfortably across the base of the muzzle. The effect of the gentle leader was that when she pulled, instead of choking her like a regular collar, the gentle leader applied pressure on the bridge of her nose – a place a mother dog uses to discipline her pups. It was a miracle, and she was walking properly immediately, which made the time more enjoyable for all of us.

In about three months, Kayla lost 22 pounds and achieved her appropriate, healthy weight of 75 pounds for a dog of her breed and build. She was unrecognizable from the dog we originally brought home (except for those amber eyes, which everyone falls in love with when they meet her). And much to our surprise and delight, my husband and I also lost weight as a result of those regular walks every day. So Kayla not only brought love, affection, and joy into our lives, but also helped us to get healthier as well.

Susan Ryder is an animal lover and creative writer. This article has been submitted in affiliation with (http://www.PetLovers.Com/) which is a site for Pet Forums.