This week’s blog series, “Chasing the Pounds Away” focuses on one of our clients Chase, a 7 year old Sheltie. In today’s blog, we will share his story, how we came to meet, and how we are helping him and his parents be successful on his weight loss journey. In Part 2, we will share our Portion Control plan. We will provide you with the details on how we create his meal plans and caloric intake. Part 3 of this series will talk about getting over “The Look”. You know what I mean – that look 99.9% of all dogs get – the feed me look, or the “Can I have some of what you’re having?” look, etc. In Part 4 of our “Chasing the Pounds Away” series, we’ll talk about the importance of regular monitoring of our progress and goals to insure success. And by success we mean Chase living to a ripe old age, healthy and happy.
Part 1 of our “Chasing the Pounds Away” series begins in 2012. Your Pet Chef met Chase about 4.5 years ago. His Dad found us at a local trade show. We made him some samples and Chase liked the food. During the first meeting at their home, I saw lots and lots of bags of treats in their kitchen. I found myself being like a counselor on the Biggest Loser asking them about the treats and how many Chase was allowed to have per day. Chase’s dad works for a pet product company so he gets lots of free samples. This could be a dangerous situation as they were always available to hand out.
We talked about Chase’s ideal weight – he weighed about 50 pounds at that time. Chase is a Sheltie, on the larger side, but that would put his goal weight at about 35 pounds. We made his food and delivered it every two weeks. Chase’s parents did not feel as though he had enough to eat. He was always looking to them for treats or more food. We did make some strictly vegetable bars for him to fill him up, but without adding calories. He lost a few pounds, but nothing significant. To be honest, his parents weren’t ready to “break up” with the volume of treats and food they felt he needed. The Chef here can only do so much, so they discontinued buying food from me and we both went on with our lives.
In August 2016, I heard from Chase’s dad again. They were interested in getting food again and were serious about Chase losing weight. He was now close to 60 pounds and had just been diagnosed with diabetes. At just 7 years old, his parents needed to make some changes to his life so he could continue to brighten their days for many years to come. Let me tell you – I’m really partial to this guy. Being a collie lover (I know Sheltie’s aren’t collies) since I played Lassie in pre-school, Chase is a kind, gentle soul wrapped with a beautiful sable coat. He just puts a smile on my face. I would do anything I could to help him get the weight off and live a long, healthy life.
We made arrangements for delivery and discussed the plans for weight loss. I prepared food to get him to about 40 pounds (we’ll go into this in more detail in tomorrow’s blog). This was a small increase in food volume from our 2012 plan and seemed to help him and his parents adjust more easily. We now make treats (we didn’t when we originally met) so we also provide Chase with treats that are very low in calories. He gets 3-4 per day. This helps his parents feel like they are still giving him something, but they aren’t adding a lot of unnecessary calories to his diet.
And, it’s working. Chase is making steady progress on his weight loss goals. His parents take him to the vet regularly for weigh-ins and to check on his overall health. Our goal is to get him off the diabetes medication completely this year.
Here are Chase’s weight loss numbers:
Weigh in DateWeight
August 16, 2016 57.7
August 24, 2016 58.2
September 7, 2016 56.1
September 27, 2016 54.6
October 7, 2016 53.6
November 4, 2016 53.6
December 22, 2016 52.1
January 4, 2017 50.2
We will continue to update this blog with each of his new weigh-ins – the next one is scheduled for February, 2017. Keeping track of his progress really helps everyone stay focused on the goal.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – Portion Control. We will discuss how we figure out how much Chase should eat and what ingredients should be used in his diet. If you'd like more information about how we can help your dog lose some weight, complete our Quick Start Guide. Thanks for reading this blog!
Here's a photo of Chase with his sister Kenzie. We featured his story and recipe in our first cookbook, The Your Pet Chef Cookbook.