Earlier this week I shared the story of Chibi’s road to recovery from hip dysplasia, and one major piece that was crucial to her recovery was putting her on a strict diet and helping her lose a few pounds to ease the stress on her little hips.
I often see trending photos and videos of fat dogs and cats, each garnering millions of views as people tag their friends, commenting happily seeing that dog cheered them up. Sure, a chubby Corgi may look cute as they waddle down the sidewalk back and forth, but obesity in dogs is extremely dangerous and can contribute to so many different health issues. I feel for this poor little guy…
Chibi’s weight loss journey began when she was diagnosed with the severe hip dysplasia. At the time, she weighed around 25 lb, which is exactly what’s considered a healthy weight for an adult female Corgi. 25 lb, however, was still not good enough for a stumpy dog with two bad hips. In fact, structurally Chibi is a bit on the smaller side for the average Corgi, so much so that people still mistake her for a puppy.
Our approach to helping her lose weight was twofold:
1) Switch her food from a natural grain-free kibble to a (dehydrated) raw diet
2) For a few months, Chibi went on… yes… the famed green bean diet
The Food Switch
I used to work at a pet food company, so Chibi was fed a couple different lines of their natural grain free kibble for the first year and a half of her life. For a while, we tried switching both dogs to I and Love and You dehydrated raw dog food, but Kokoro (being the pickiest dog there has to be on earth) eventually refused to eat it. We were continually rotating food out for the dogs, trying to find something that we could feed to both of them.
When we got orders from our orthopedic surgeon to help Chibi lose a few pounds, we switched the dogs over to Stella and Chewy’s dehydrated raw patties… and things changed! Kokoro gobbled up her dinners with enthusiasm and started to thankfully gain a few pounds. Seriously, she was pretty much all skin, bones, and fluff.
Chibi, on the other hand, started losing weight – yay! Not only was the natural raw food’s pure ingredients delivering the nutrition that she needed, her skin and coat became shinier, she became more energetic, and of course, less #2 to pick up on our daily walks.
Now, having worked at a commercial pet food company, I’ve seen all sides of every argument for and against every type of dog food diet. From my perspective, every dog is different, just like how every person is different. Sometimes, not every dog owner has the means to purchase top-of-the-line products, even if they’d like to, for their fur babies. What’s important is getting informed and having patience in finding what’s right for your dog’s age, activity level, and preferences.
If you’re thinking of switching your dog’s diet but raw is too expensive (or if you just want to dip your toes in the water), Stella & Chewy’s makes these amazing meal mixers that are perfect for trying it out!
For my dogs, both of them reaped huge benefits from switching to Stella & Chewy’s. Before, Kokoro was skipping food sometimes for an entire day, and it was really concerning to us that she wasn’t getting the proper nutrition that she needed. Chibi is a little piggy, but was eating an unbalanced amount of carbs and protein for her stumpy little body. Keeping my dogs a healthy weight (neither overweight nor underweight) has consistently been on my mind, and thankfully we’ve found a solution that’s worked for us thus far.
The Green Bean Diet
To supplement Chibi’s diet change and help her more aggressively lose some poundage, we put her on the green bean diet for a few months. There are many resources online that provide information about this popular green bean diet. Basically, Chibi was getting dehydrated raw patties mixed with green beans. Luckily, she’s a fan of all things edible.
In the span of the last 6 months, Chibi went from 25 lb to 21 lb! That’s a whopping 16% of her body weight. Needless to say, the vet (and I) was ecstatic and attribute much of her speedy recovery and rehabilitation on both legs to the weight loss. We’ve now switched back to a diet that will maintain her current weight.
Diet is definitely not 100% of the work when it comes to slimming down. Just like people, plenty of structured exercise will help speed up the process. We never feed our dogs table scraps or people food (unless you count raw fruits and veggies). Make sure to read the label and understand the nutrition of whatever you’re feeding your dog, and speak with your vet to make the right decisions.
That’s about it for my two cents on the matter. Love your dogs, keep them healthy and, above all, happy!