To get my beautiful Labrador Chia in the best physical and mental health of her life, I knew I had to take The Real Food Movement for pets seriously to do something realistic about her weight. My first step was to discover what shape she was in, to allow me to have a realistic understanding to begin her transformation. And this journey all started with BlackHawk’s DogCheck.
I have shared other articles about discovering Chia was obese, realising I was not feeding her correct positions or understanding what energy needs she had with her lifestyle factors such as activity level and daily life. But to get a true picture of her health was at, I needed to run her through Dog Check.
Through a few simple steps via a free online tool, DogCheck is the most accurate way to get a visual representation of what your dog’s weight would be if converted to a human body. So much like we say 1 dog year equates to 7 human years in age, weight is not dissimilar in that if a dog is 2kg overweight, the human equivalent of that could put the dog in the overweight and obese category by comparison due to the breed, size and weight of your animal.
I logged on, entered her name and took a deep breath. What was I going to find out?! Would I be overrun with owner guilt? Well, I would rather feel a little guilty now than have never done anything about it.
I followed the simple steps of selecting her breed, sex and age, and then finally was asked to enter her weight. At her heaviest she was pushing 30kgs, which for some labs would be about average for her breed, but because she is the runt of her litter, she is actually half the size of a standard lab, so the standard weight was not going to cut it with her stature.
With Chia’s height and size taken into account, it was clear to me with the human representation of her body weight, that she had a problem and she was obese. If I didn’t act now it would simply get worse and impact her overall health and wellbeing, including the risk of shortening her life.
With more than 2 million Aussie dogs being obese around the country, I didn’t want to put my head in the sand and be another owner that simply wasn’t able to see we had a problem.
By BlackHawk creating this valuable guide to help me visualise how my dog might appear if they were human got the conversation started and I took action straight away with correct proton control, increased activity, and stopped using treats as a form of reward and instead rewarded her with playtime or cuddles.
Having reduced Chia’s weight to an incredibly strong, healthy and lean 23kg, I can only implore you to keep your dog in good shape. If you continue to give your dog the right amount of exercise and nutrition you can potentially add years to your dog’s life, meaning you and your best friend will have as much time together as possible. And I for one am aiming for Chia to have the longest, happiest and healthiest life ever.
Here are some incredible photos of Chias transformation and for more information please visit Black Hawk Pet Care
Check out my chat with BlackHawk Vet Dr Lee Danks as we discuss if there is such thing as diet dog food.