Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hey Fatty.

Remember when we wrote about The Bathing And Feeding Of Miss Ratatouille and Mr Thumper In Order To Maintain A Sense Of WellBeing?

Being a perceptive person, if you actually made it to the end of that fascinating post, you would no doubt have said to yourself, "WHAT feeding is she talking about?"

Aha! Well, here it is. The Feeding bit. It's a fat juicy story with a meaty ending.

But be warned. It's also A Very Long Story [especially if you click on all the helpful links] because it's a subject that's close to my stay-at-home human's heart. So before you read on, go get yourself a pack of timmys and a mug of yummy Guatemalan chili-chocolate to dip them in. It's okay. We'll wait.


Stuff I overheard... March and April
[The black bits are my stay-at-home human talking. The blue bits are Other People We Know.]

"Georgia! You're such a big girl now!"
"Yes, she's growing up."

"How much does she weigh? Her head looks small compared to her body."
"Oh, she might have put on a little. She's a big-chested girl."

"Georgia! You're so BIG!"
"YES! She's big! She's not a chihuahua! She's a BIG DOG!" late May

"Did you weigh her when you came in?
"Yes, Dr C, she's just over 48kgs."

"She could afford to lose a bit of weight."
"Really? Isn't she just a big-chested girl?"

"No, see this? She's fat."
" ??? "    " : (  "

"See what happens when you don't let me
scoop the fat out of the stock and meat?
                                         "Sorry lovey. I thought it would make the food more tasty."
"It's all YOUR fault she's fat."
                                                                       "Yes lovey."  "Sorry lovey." June

"45kgs! Good girl, Georgia!" July and August

"Georgia's rō tund′!"
"She is not rō tund′."

"Georgia's rō tund′."
"Look, she's lost 3 kgs. She's NOT rō tund′."

"44.2kgs! Good girl, Georgia!"

"43.5kgs! Let's just aim for 43kgs, okay girl? Good girl!"

"43.46kgs. Hmmm."

"43.37kgs. I think we may have to cut your food down a bit more, girly." early September

"42.89kgs! Good girl, Georgia! We did it! GOOD GIRL!"

"What do you think, Dr C?"
                                            "Let me see. Yes, I think she's a perfect weight now. You wouldn't want her to lose anymore."
                           "Hear that, Georgia? You're perfect! Good girl!" late September

"Oh no, Georgia! What did you eat in the park? Why are you always so hungry?! And why didn't YOU watch her? I think we're going to have to fast today, girl."

"Sorry lovey."

"Don't look at me like that, Georgia. You know I love you but you CAN'T eat today, okay? 

"Rufus eat. Georgia NO eat. Georgia bad tummy. Georgia good girl. Georgia bad toilet. Georgia no eat. NO eat. Understand?"

"How about a cuddle instead?" the last week or so

"Georgia's looking a bit thin."
"Yes, she's been on a diet and had a bad tum last week."

"Goodness, you can see her ribs!"
"Yes, she's been on a diet and had a bad tum last week. The vet said she's a perfect weight now."

"Wow! She's lost a lot of weight! She needs to eat more, don't you think?"
" *sigh* "

Would anyone like to know what I think about my diet?

I'm always hungry. I'm hungry when I wake up in the morning. I'm hungry when I go to sleep.

I'm sad.
Leave me alone. Can't you see I'm busy being sad?

I'm cranky.

Feed me! Feed me!
PLEASE feed me!

And EVERYTHING looks edible.
Sorry, little skink.

"When Dr Dog declared, "She's a perfect weight now." - he instantly became my 3rd favourite human again.

"PERFECT!" he said, "In fact, when you get home, give her a big fat meaty bone with extra gravy for doing so well. She really deserves it!"

Okay, so I made that last bit up.

My new diet has almost bankrupted the people who deliver my food, who kept texting my stay-at-home human in the hope that she might have run out of something, anything. But no, I'll probably be on the same bag of kibble until next year, thank you. They've given up now.

"So what is the secret of your drastic weight loss Miss Ratatouille?" I hear you ask. Here it is.

My Big Fat Diet [Which is More Or Less The Same As Mr Thumper's Post-Pancreatitis Diet Except I Get Other Stuff And He Doesn't.]

Every day I eat this lot, divided into 2 meals:
1 and a 1/2 cups good quality low-fat/weight-management kibble, with homemade chicken stock [fat skimmed off]
6 big tablespoons rice
2 big tablespoons lentils OR oatmeal
1/2 tablespoon unprocessed bran
500gm of chicken breast/beef topside/lamb [all fat removed]
2 big tablespoons vegetables [raw carrot-celery puree OR steamed silverbeet-beans-brocolli puree] and, sometimes, a few pieces of fruit.

Other Stuff
Yogurt and Cheese - Only low-fat and no longer every day. Bummer.
Eggs - I used to get this twice a week. Now I get it once in 2 weeks. Double bummer.
Raw Lamb Bones - I get a small one for breakfast. I get a big one only when Mr Thumper isn't looking because he's not allowed any.
Treats and Honey - What treats? Only when I'm at school. I love school. What honey?

Important Note:  This Diet was used in conjunction with 2 big walks a day. It is in NO way a scientifically-formulated, vet-recommended diet. It's just MINE!

Is any part of that fresh crusty palmier for me?


Snippets from article, "Man's best friend hits the gym" by Caroline Marcus, Sunday Telegraph, 26th September 2010:

" least 20% of pets in Australia are classified as clinically obese."

"...the epidemic had become so widespread, owners with perfectly healthy dogs were being stopped on the street by strangers accusing them of underfeeding their animals because people were so used to seeing overweight pets."


p.s.  Sometimes, humans stop to say how fat Mr Thumper is. Even fat humans, which is kind of i.r.o.n.i.c.
As you can see, Mr Thumper is not fat. He's just about 55kgs now and, happily, managed to put on a couple of kilos since The Last Big Pancreatitis Scare.


yadda yadda yadda.

I've heard that it is pointless to feed grain like rice to dogs. Not being a vet, a dog nutritionist or even particularly well read, I can't say for sure if that's true.

Whenever our dogs have bad stomachs, we fast them for 24 hours followed by small amounts of something easily digestible like rice and chopped up meat for a day or 2, weaning them slowly back to their normal diet.

In Rufus's case, this proved to be impossible. Post-pancreatitis, he can no longer tolerate kibble of any kind. His filler is now rice/oatmeal and he's, perhaps strangely, thriving  on this diet.

We decided to try Rufus's natural homecooked diet on Georgia but with some kibble [about 1/2 of total filler amount] added. Partly because commercial dogfood does have a balance of nutrients that I, Ms Average Dog Owner, do not know how to calculate. And partly because we have a huge bag of kibble that we need to finish!

It may be coincidence, but Georgia hasn't had any skin flare-ups since starting this diet. On the vet's recommendation, she's also been taking a teaspoonful of flaxseed oil a day. Perhaps this helped too.

It may be more time-consuming, but I don't think we'll be going back to feeding her commercial dog food.

I've been reading a lot about dogs on diet lately. It seems that dogs are getting fat just about everywhere in the [western] world. In my humble opinion, there are 2 things that are indispensible in getting a fat dog back into shape.

The first are some horribly honest friends and an equally honest vet [who will persist in calling your dog Fatty until you are over the denial phase].

The second is a hard heart [that would be yours, the dog owner] and the ability to not hear your dog's grumbling tum.

The rest is, by comparison, easy.

If YOU have a fat dog and are embarking on a diet, GOOD LUCK! : )


Early November, more food for thought:

I might have forgotten to mention that we're not the Packers. But we've discovered that we don't have to be, to feed the dogs well.

We buy about 8 kilos of meat every week. I guess that's considered bulk buy. We get the meat from wholesalers or, more recently, Chinese butchers. Everything is negotiable there when you're a regular making a big purchase. Believe it or not, it actually works out cheaper to buy chicken breast fillet or chunks of topside beef from these places than buying, let's say, regular mince from places like Woolies or Coles. If you have a wee-size dog, getting together with a group of friends is always a good idea for bulk-buying power!

Because Rufus and Georgia's diet is  now skewed towards rice, lentils, meat, raw bones and vegies, we were able to cut down drastically on the dog kibble. [We used to buy Royal Canin, but are now trialling Eagle Pack.] The big bag that used to last about 3 weeks now lasts closer to 6 months. 

The bottom line is, though their diet sounds a bit posh, I've calculated that it's NO MORE EXPENSIVE to feed the dogs this way. It's just more time-consuming.

p.s. I hope you haven't finished that packet of timmys because, you know, they're VERY fattening.


Chapeuzinho said...

I saw the title of the post and thought perhaps it was about me. Perhaps I should start myself on Georgia's diet, sans raw lamb bones in the morning and including a couple of latte's for my sanity?

georgia little pea said...

oh chappers!~ :p

make sure they're skinny lattes okay?

as she lovingly strokes her tummy and dreams about the sugar lips she has bought to go with her after-dinner full-fat coffee tonight, i think my stay-at-home human will be joining you soon.

xox the skinny and perfect georgia

uncle STeve said...

edited from a very long email -

I just finished reading your latest dog-bog-blog, Re: Dog Diet. As I've mentioned, Flash (our nearly 17yo the Killer Jack the Little Ripper Russell) is much better, especially since we changed his diet (& told him that his next trip to the vets would be one way).

He's a happier & leaner little dog, though he nearly breaks the door down trying to get to Inky's viddles when we feed her separately. The boiled chicken & rice diet has worked wonders.

simon pender said...

Interesting. My two survive on Indian curries and rice, pizza crusts and toast with butter. Go figure ?! Oh, and raw carrots and mince as a staple when they aren't begging for MY dinner. Si.

georgia little pea said...

dear si,

i HAVE noticed in your posts that montydaisy get Very Good Things To Eat. they're lucky! i had a teaspoon of curry once. i think my humans may now be thinking of giving me h.o.l.i.s.t.i.c food too. it may be time to run away soon.

love to montydaisy xox

balizwoofwoof said...

via email -

Like you, I don't feed exclusively meat and we utilise/share a lot of our 'fillers' with Miss L. She gets a meaty bone for brekkie and for dinner mostly a smallish amount of organic meat, with either rice, steamed pumpkin, sweet potato, barley flakes, chick peas, lentils, etc (since I am a 'veggie' there is always lots to share) and of course a mega serving of the organic veggie power packs - what I consider to be the best 'health insurance'. But I still offer a variety of different meats and offal as there are so many nutrients in offal not found in other meat sources and I make sure especially with liver or kidney it is always organic.


georgia little pea said...

and this is why Queen Elizabeth is as healthy as she is at 17! i think i may progress to chickpeas soon. yum. i'm sure it will taste exactly like pizza crust and curry.