Snickers is not happy about me discussing her girlish figure in writing, on a public forum. Or maybe she just doesn't like the fact that I've somewhat randomly cut back on her daily quantity of food, training treats and snacks. I've definitely noticed an increase in her propensity to "counter-surf" and I've come home several evenings to the kind of messes or pouty, "I'm SO hungry and abused" faces shown here:
Which has convinced me that I need to put together a little more of a plan to follow rather than the random cutbacks of the last two weeks. I've gathered some good information on energy requirements, calorie content and healthy weight loss strategies for dogs and now it just needs to all be pulled together! So that's the goal for the weekend - watch for the official "Slim-down Snickers" plan to be unveiled within the week!
And please don't think that I'm starving the poor little darling....she's certainly not being too deprived!
So how do you tell if your dog needs to have "a plan" as well? Obviously, there will be some breed-specific characteristics, but in general, there are three things to watch for relative to your dog's weight:
- Rib Test: First, make a fist and run your finger over the back of your hand, your knuckles and then the base of your fingers, noting how each surface feels. Then run your hands down your dog's sides and note how their ribs feel compared to the "hand test":
- Back of your hand? - Your dog may be overweight
- Knuckles? - Your dog could probably use a little more "meat on dem bones"
- Base of fingers? - The Goldilocks Goal - "Just right"
- Tummy Tuck: When viewed from the side, your dog's abdomen should tuck up towards their body past their rib cage. Compare Bessie's stellar "tummy tuck" to Snicker's somewhat straighter silhouette: (and no snide comments about the fact that I had to put peanut butter on the wall to get these poses!
- Waistline: When viewed from above, your dog should have a nice taper at their waist (between the abdomen and where the hips go into the socket). Compare Ringo's "waist" to Snicker's somewhat thicker "aerial view". (And yes, peanut butter again!)
So, I'm determined to find a way to help Snickers slim down a bit while trying to keep her from feeling deprived! She gets a good deal of exercise most days, so I'll have to take that into consideration. But overall, it's just like with us - calories in, calories out! Simple but NOT EASY!