Dennis the (No-Longer-Dieting) Dachshund: “Treating” Your Pet Well
About one year ago, we introduced you to Dennis, an adorable miniature dachshund who once wasn’t so miniature at 56 pounds — or at least 45 pounds overweight. Between June 2013 and April 2015, Dennis lost a whopping 44 pounds through an appropriate diet, exercise and plenty of love from his owner, Brooklyn Burton of Columbus, Ohio. We’re happy to report Dennis now weighs a svelte 9 pounds — a stunning 84 percent drop in body weight! — and loves chasing squirrels and dancing for his dinner.
Not only did Brooklyn feed Diamond Naturals dog food to Dennis during his weight loss journey, but she still feeds Diamond Naturals today. Dennis’ current favorite? Diamond Naturals Grain Free Chicken and Sweet Potato formula. Two other keys to his weight loss included eliminating table scraps from his diet and using healthy alternatives for treats.
Treat tactics for weight loss and management
Snacks and treats can quickly add calories to a dog’s diet, especially when a dog is as small as Dennis. Treats should only make up a small percentage of a dog’s diet, typically no more than 10 percent of the daily calories a pet receives. For Brooklyn, it’s important to give Dennis healthy treats.
“Dennis gets green beans, carrots, bananas, melon and cantaloupe, zucchini and cucumbers. Right now, I freeze them, which Dennis loves,” she says. “The treats are for special occasions, although I might give a treat once daily or every other day. Mostly, I give him three baby carrots a day, cutting them into pieces to make them last. Fruit, although it’s good for him, is given only once or twice a week.”
Brooklyn, who owns a second dog, is quick to point out there are other ways to show affection to our pets. She likes to spend quality time with Dennis by taking him for walks, usually twice daily.
“We don’t have to show love through food,” Brooklyn says. “Walks, playing ball and grooming — not table scraps and extra treats — show our pets we love them.”
Dennis’ Legacy: Supporting healthy weight in dogs
Inspired by those who helped her pay for Dennis’ three skin reduction surgeries and who provided encouragement throughout his weight loss journey, Brooklyn started a fund at Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center. Called Dennis’ Legacy, the fund will eventually help eligible dog owners receive reduced costs for consultation with a veterinary nutritionist, recommended food, physical therapy and skin removal surgery. To learn more or contribute to Dennis’ Legacy (fund number 315098), visit The Ohio State University website.
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