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Dr. Jerry Allen is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville (Go Golden Eagles! ...

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Ruminations of a Valley Vet

Blogging by Dr. Jerry Allen, DVM

Heavy Weight Champions


Pet Obesity is a problem. We know this.  The question is, why are our animals so stricken with obesity? I mean dogs can’t open the fridge and make a sandwich nor remove the top of the soda-pop can. If one ever shows that talent, I'm buying him!!!

Seriously, there is really no excuse for an obese animal. We enable our animals to become obese.  I am as guilty as everyone else and I confess I've got a couple of cats that are about as wide as long and a whole list of excuses. But the Truth shall set you free — it’s my fault.

We cast ourselves onto our animals when we shouldn't.  We give them our bad habits on eating. Then we keep reinforcing it. We are killing ourselves and our pets!  We have to stop.

Have you been preached too enough yet? Well, don’t get all offended now. I have an answer! Because I am problem-solver. (I try anyway.)

Weight loss is close to my heart... literally about 4 inches, but in reality, I have been on a weight loss voyage myself and so far have lost over 105 pounds since April of 2017. Is it easy to talk about and easy to understand, yes? But the reality is weight loss is hard. It takes resolve and discipline. But since, as mentioned, the dog or cat can't make a sandwich and depends on us for food... we control the intake so we can institute the diet. And when I say we, I mean YOU TOO.

A few years back, I created the "Dr. Allen 10% Animal Diet."

Everyone who stuck with it lost weight. Is it easy? The idea is childishly simple (as my brain often is) but it's sticking to it that is hard. However, you can do it! Really. I promise.

Here is the protocol:

  1. Buy a small digital scale. The kind bakers use to weigh out flour, sugar, etc. is cheap and easy to obtain. Places like Amazon sell these for sometimes less than 10 dollars.
  2. Get a stainless steel food bowl. Start with a nice clean one.
  3. Weight it empty and write down the weight of the bowl. I recommend using a sharpie and write it on the bowl, or get a notebook and record the empty weight while keeping a daily log of your pet’s feeding amounts and times. It will really help you in the long run.
  4. OK, this weight is your TARE weight (the weight of the bowl you will need to subtract from the total volume of food).
  5. Pour the average amount of food you feed at one time into the honest! Now weigh again. Write this number down. This is your combined weight.
  6. Now the MATH part. Take your combined weight (food and bowl) and subtract your TARE weight (the empty bowl) and the new number is .... you guessed it, what the food weighs!
  7. Yes, you did it!  Now for advanced MATH. Subtract 10% from your food weight. OH NO!!!! percentages!  I will give an example in a minute so don't panic.

This is your NEW number or The food amount by weight that you will be feeding your animal. Write that down.

This is the amount of food you will feed consistently for the next month. Nothing MORE now.

OK, let's walk through one.

Now advanced math.

  • 15 X 10% = 1.5. So we need to feed 1.5 ounces LESS food. 
  • So our new food weight needs to be 13.5 ounces. 
  • So let’s take our empty bowl which weighs 1 ounce on the scale.  
  • 1 ounce plus 13.5 equals 14.5 ounces correct?   
  • Put an empty bowl on the scale, slowly add food until it shows 14.5 ounces. Now we have 13.5 ounces of food in our 1-ounce bowl. So every feeding put the empty bowl on the scale, make sure it's one ounce and then add until you reach the NEW food and bowl weight of 14.5.

If you are really advanced and have a fancy scale you can set the empty bowl to weight 0 and then just add the food to 13.5 but not all scales do this.

Don’t forget, we have to weigh the dog/cat also. Write that down.

  • Feed your new program for a month, re-weigh the pet.
  • If there is no or almost no weight loss, you will need to subtract another 10% from the new food plus bowl weight so you are now feeding 20% less than the original weight of the food for the next month.
  • If you can tell there is a little weight loss, continue the 10% reduction from your original calculation for another month.
  • Any time the weight loss seems to have paused, but it's obvious they need to lose a little more, go down 10% more in the amount of food you feed them for a month and re-evaluate.

This process is slow and sustainable and the animal will not feel deprived and act hungry.  Try it and you'll like it and your pet will be healthier also with all its new found energy and slim body.

What Would You Do?
That Dog Can Run!

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