The doctor has spoken: It's time to lose the baby weight.
Before you get all hyped up, it's not my doctor.
Mark and Miles took the D-boy to the vet for his annual checkup. He got shots, microchipped and had his blood drawn. When it came time to get on the scale, everyone was shocked to discover that he weighed in at a whopping 74 pounds.
Denali has always been much bigger than other huskies, with the breed standard being 35 to 60 pounds. The vets were never concerned, though, because he was solid and receiving lots of exercise. Over the last year, though, his his activity level has decreased as our schedules don't always allow for twice-daily runs/walks. He still logs quite a few miles - on average, 20 a week - but there are days when his only play is in the fenced yard.
However, the vet wasn't just blaming the running (or lack there of). He was blaming the baby. In the nicest possible way, of course.
Miles likes to feed Denali. He will ask for a cracker only to walk over to Denali and put it directly in his mouth. He likes to drop the foods he doesn't like over the edge of the high chair where Denali awaits. And there's the bits and pieces left in the seat that Denali makes a mad dash for when we take out Miles.
All of it contributes to his now robust appearance.
I will say that the vet wasn't overly concerned - Denali is still more active than many dogs - but wanted us to make an effort to help Denali lose the weight. The recommendations might shock you.
Reduce portion size. Denali was getting about 1.5 cups of dry food twice a day (really, it's whatever the scoop is). Instead of filling up the scoop till it's overflowing, we are leaving an inch or so of room at the top.
Cut down on treats. There is no way to avoid treats all together, and the vet knows this. Denali (sometimes) gets a reward for coming inside from the fenced backyard and Miles will still give him the cracker. Mark and I can cut down on giving him Miles' leftovers (a lesson for this grazing mom, as well) and the random piece of banana or toast we don't want.
Move more. This piece will become more key once the marathon is over, and I resume a more reasonable running schedule. No more pre-dawn 8-mile runs for you, fatty fido! Mark and I decided to start taking post-dinner walks to help. It's just 15 minutes or so around the neighborhood but it's a little something extra that he wasn't getting.
The vet said that bigger dogs do tend to lose weight more easily than small dogs and we should see results sooner than we think.
Figures. A big guy is going to lose weight more quickly than the dainty small pup who needs to kick the last few ounces. What a jerk, that Denali!