Hunger Games

Welp, my dog is obese. I can’t say I’m surprised. Appa was already a bit on the chonky side, probably about 5-10 pounds over her ideal weight, but after being diagnosed with epilepsy and starting on phenobarbital, she’s gained another 15 pounds. And while I love a bit of gush on a dog, the reality is that it’s bad news, if you want a healthy dog.

Of course, at the vet’s office, I acted like it was just super surprising and clearly driven by the meds, and not the fact that we straight-up have been (apparently) overfeeding her, plus giving her lots of treats, including people food. After coming home with strict orders to reduce her food intake, I did some actual research* and learned that I’ve basically been giving her double the kibble that she should be having. That, along with BabyCheese™ which is any cheese and/or meat that we can shove her pill into, and the occasional treats from the people table, and she’s more of a walrus than a wolf at the moment.

*I googled it.

I told the vet that she likes carrots and romaine lettuce and I was told NO! DO NOT! SUPER HIGH CALORIES! Like, is my whole life a lie? I’ll give her carrots, but romaine? ROMAINE? I was told that if we needed to add bulk, to go with green beans. Hopefully we don’t have to do that, because this dog is not a fan of green beans. ANYWAY.

Momo, Appa’s sister, will gleefully run laps around the yard at high speed. Meanwhile, Appa stands in the center of the yard and barks at her as she speeds by. A few laps around the neighborhood park wears her out, whereas Momo could (and would) pull your sled for 10 miles, happily. Still, we’re probably overfeeding Momo as well, so she’s going on a sympathy diet, and we’ll see how it goes.

So far, there has been pouting and a little drama, but they don’t seem to be starving to death, and I haven’t noticed any major behavioral stuff (like foraging in the trash or trying to get food off the table or counters. I’m hoping we can get her back down to her ideal weight (plus or minus 10 pounds) by Christmas.

This evening, when I made up her dinner bowl with carefully portioned food, and supervised the dogs each eating their own portion, Appa shoved her face into the bowl so hard she was mashing her nose on the bottom and making little oinking noises. It’s going to be a long couple of months.