All About Olive 3
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Olive’s Weight Loss Journey
Well, she did it! Our little girl is a champion weight loss expert. Or, I guess I should say I’m the expert. But only when it comes to dogs. I still have my own struggle to deal with. (But we’re not talking about me.)
I’ll tell you the truth. Olive’s weight loss journey wasn’t always easy. And it wasn’t always successful. But in the end, it was gratifying.
Our Ups and Downs
We had our ups and downs, some highs and lows. Overall, I have a healthier, happier, more active dog. This old girl is almost 8 years old and she’s still energetic, attentive, interested and affectionate. She wants to be a part of everything going on around her. Mostly, she loves to keep the rest of the animals in line. That’s natural as she’s bred to be a working dog. She ensures the cats don’t fight and the foster dogs don’t misbehave. She’s always aware and ready to jump in when needed. Especially when someone comes to the door or walks by the house. Because when you’re a dog, you never know. Right?
To recap, her doctor Jacqueline Sehn, at Mercy Vet recommended Darwin’s Beef which she said was the leanest of the Darwin’s products and would be our best bet for weight loss. And I agreed to be more observant in walking her regularly, which I admit, I’d been slacking.
Feeding her Darwin’s was a no-brainer. It comes in an easy to open single-meal package and she loves it. Plus, it makes sense because it’s biologically appropriate for her species. And that’s something I hadn’t paid much attention to previously.
The first month flew by. Unfortunately, she didn’t lose a pound. The second month, she’d gained three pounds. Her vet and I sat down and figured it out. When I calculated how much she’d been eating before Darwin’s, it turned out she was eating more food, ounce for ounce, on her diet. Well that’s certainly not the way to lose weight. So, with help from the vet, we changed her diet to six ounces per meal, not eight.
How I Managed Her Dog Diet
First thing I did was weigh and separate the pound packages into 6 baggies, approximately. The weighing and the bagging became tiresome and my math was off anyway. So, after a few weeks, I just pinched off ¾ of the 8 ounces for breakfast and dinner, then used the remaining for a third meal. It wasn’t exact scientific but it was the best I was willing to do.
After a month on her new diet plan, I was amazed to find she’d lost a pound! And honestly, she never missed those two ounces. So, with the new plan, we knew were heading down the right path. For a few months, I was good about walking her more. But then fall and winter took us out of the game. Just like me, Olive doesn’t enjoy being outside when it’s cold, windy or wet.
Despite our mutual lack of exercise, she continued to lose. (And I joined a gym!)
Where We Ended Up
When the day arrived that she’d not just met her goal but beaten it, we celebrated by feeding her the full eight-ounce package that night. And we have been every day and night since.
Another month went by and she continued to hold steady at 35 lbs. even on the full eight ounces.
Summer is here and we’re walking again. I can tell she has more stamina and strength. She’s sleek and svelte and turns heads at the park. She’s muscular yet graceful. Her coat is soft and silky, not wiry like most of her breed. She’s simply gorgeous. This girl’s going to be a Darwin’s dog for life. And I venture to believe it will be a long, happy, healthy life.