I had my first book signing for Fur Covered Wisdom this past weekend. When I returned home, I opened the door to walk into the usual doggie love fest consisting of BOLO greeting me with toy in mouth and Henry trying desperately to avoid getting pushed out of the way. After taking in the love and affection from pups, behaving as though I had been gone for a month, I stood up to notice something odd. In the 4 hours I had been away from home, BOLO’s head had shrunken. In fact, Henry’s looked a little smaller too. Yes, as I looked closer BOLO’s head appeared significantly smaller than when I left her sleeping quietly just hours prior. Of course this was an illusion…dogs heads do not shrink. However, their girth becomes obnoxiously rotund when they manage to open a door, tear through boxes, and proceed to consume dog food and treat samples as though they had not been fed in weeks.
BOLO’s rotund middle and sudden appearance of a shrunken head was evidence of a gluttonous afternoon. Why is it that some dogs will eat until they are sick and others barely graze their food? I honestly don’t have an exact answer for this phenomenon. You would think the discomfort, belly aches, and inevitable urge to poop all day long would be enough to prevent future moments of overindulgence, but no- those memories last only until the next opportunity for food scarfing arises. I am sure BOLO’s inability to stop when full is much like many people experience this time of year when confronted with all the delectable delights of the season.
It’s common for many people to see their weight creep up during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years. The stress of the season and the overload of baked goods and candies that people offer up as “gifts” make for a “hefty” combination. By the time you polish off your last glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve, it’s possible you may see an 8-13 lb jump in the numbers on your bathroom scale. Unfortunately, your dog may not be far behind you. Wondering if there is a connection between your overindulgence and weight gain in your pet? The answer would be a big YEP!
Pet parents enjoy spoiling their fur kids during the holidays. Christmas stockings are filled with toys and an abundance of treats, special bones are placed under the tree for Christmas morning, and there is always some obnoxious family member visiting who insists on secretly offering up scraps under the table during holiday meals. When you add in colder weather, shorter days, and the fact that your food induced lethargy have limited your desire to get out and walk, your dog is going to gain weight and you probably are too. If any of this resonates with you, take a moment to get your mindset in a positive place by reviewing the past year’s highlights and all the wonderful experiences, accomplishments, and blessings you have to be grateful for. Then, put a stake in the ground and put a halt to the holiday pounds.
If you are committed to living a healthier life in 2016, I guarantee you will have the best accountability partner who is more than happy to be right by your side. It is rare for a dog to not want to join you on a walk outdoors. In fact, they are counting on you and the commitment you made to ensure they get plenty of mental and physical exercise when you brought them into your home.
- Make you and your dog the priority for 1 hour a day. Focus on self care by going out for an energizing walk with your dog. Not only will this jump start some calorie burning for the day, it will keep you energized and put you in the right mood to handle all the extra family who may be visiting during the holidays.
- If you are choosing to eat extra portions and taste all the treats of the season, balance it out the rest of the week by reducing calorie intake on the other days of the week. Similarly, reduce your dog’s kibble if you find they have had access to an increased amount of treats.
- Use the down time during the week after Christmas to learn how to best adjust your diet for maximum energy and weightloss, read up on the best food choices and appropriate caloric intake for your dog, visit your doctor for a clean bill of health and take your dog to the vet to do the same.
To learn more on how you and your dog can make 2016 a healthy and fit year, check out a few of my favorite health and wellness companies: k9fitclub.com, FitpawsUSA.com, and Eattrainwin.com, and Beachbody.com. All of them will provide you with the perfect “jump start” to accomplish health and fitness goals for you AND your dog.