As most of you know my old man Bear is nearly 9 years old and has arthritis in 5 places in his body, he has it in both hips, both front elbows and one of his shoulders.
A few weeks ago he had his first surgery and he weighed in at 40kg, he is 8kg or nearly 18lbs overweight. I do blame myself obviously as I hurt my knee and find it hard to walk him on the country roads and also I tend to share my food with him. I’m a sucker for the puppy eyes, like many dog owners.
On the 20th of January I started him on a strict diet. He has 250g of food daily (excluding treats):
100g of chicken, which is cooked on the George Foreman to reduce fat.
80g of cooked green beans
70g of Bob Martin Simply + Advanced Nutrition
A 2kg bag costs €2.99 in Mr Price and lasts about 2-3 weeks.
I picked this food for the simple reason that it has 8% fat while other name brands have a fat content from 9% – 15%. As weight loss is the goal, I wanted to use a brand with the lowest fat content I could find and with 20% protein or higher.
I also give him a dog friendly beer called Bottom Sniffer or a dog prosecco called Pawsecco, they are herbal drinks. The “beer” contains barley malt, water, dandelion, nettle, flax, and chicken flavouring. The Pawsecco contains a blend of elderflower, nettle, ginseng and limeflower. The rosé contains carrot, to give it some colour.
They are currently on sale in Aldi for 99c each but can be purchased on Amazon.
For treats, we ditched store bought treats and picked up a bag of carrots for 89c. He gets one or two carrots a day.
One really helpful thing that I’ve started doing is meal prep, I measure out his food on a scale and put them all into plastic containers and store them in the fridge. I make about 5 days worth so if it’s a busy evening I can just grab the food out of the fridge and pop it into his bowl.
So after weighing food, meal prep, ditching treats for carrots, herbal drinks and checking labels like a crazy woman, did it make a difference?
On the 21st of February, just over 4 weeks after we started his diet. His stomach reduced from 34in to 33in and lost 2kg/4.5lbs.
He now has 6kg to lose to be at his optimal weight according to the vet. This is based solely on diet and not exercise. I’m waiting for after my MRI in 2 weeks to see how my knee is.
Hoping by March 20th for him to lose another 2-3lbs so we can relieve some of the pain from his arthritis.