Luna is a beautiful black Lab mix. She’ll be four in November but you would never know that if you meet her; she’s a puppy at heart. The first time we met she was eight weeks old and ever since then, she’s been a part of the family.
Luna was a very mischievous puppy! She ate a lot of things she shouldn’t have before she trained us on what not to leave in her reach. As she grew up, she started to grow “out” as well. She quickly became overweight. My dad had a very old school mindset about what you should feed your dog. As a result of that, he fed her far too much people food. He thought he was showing her his love, but all she was showing was early signs of obesity. Fast forward a few years and I’ve moved away from home, Luna visits me but is with dad more than anyone. She had ballooned in weight. At her heaviest she was 78.1 pounds; nearly 25 pounds overweight! Something had to be done.
About three months ago Luna moved in with my boyfriend and me. My first priority was getting her weight down now that I could control what she ate. I wanted my baby girl to live as long as she could, and her weight was in the way of that. She’s still young and has all the potential to be a healthy, active dog. Her starting weight was 76.5 lbs. We put her on a weight loss food (Purina Veterinary Diet OM), limited satiety treats and one CET Veggie-dent a day. There is a dog park just a ten minute walk from home so she is getting a lot of exercise. Luna is very ball oriented and so this isn’t as hard as we thought it would be. We try to take her swimming often (great low impact exercise for happy joints) – who can keep a Lab out of water? Three months of hard work and dedication and Luna now weighs 63.2lbs. Her ideal weight is still 10 or so pounds away, but it’s with confidence I can say that she will get there.
The experience of watching and helping her become a healthy weight has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Knowing that I am helping her live as long as possible and having the opportunity to talk with clients about my personal experience with pet obesity is priceless to me. Sure I feel like a bad mom when I have to turn down the Timbit offered at the drive thru but nothing is more important to me than making sure Luna is healthy, happy and lives a long joy filled life.
Written by Jessica Ritchie, Veterinary Assistant