Last week the local farmer called Rusty a fatty. I’d been thinking he (the dog, not the farmer) was bulking out a bit and so Tim’s comment got me worried. Rusty’s a Staffy X Kelpie. Kelpies are narrow and Staffies are built like a shoe box so I’m guessing he’ll be somewhere in between. He was born the 19th of June, 2013 so he’s just past his 11 month birthday; he’s not an adult, not a pup, he’s a teen. I don’t think he’ll get taller but I bet he bulks out even more. By bulk I mean muscle, not fat (please).
Thinking that an obese teenager leads to a life of obesity, Frank and I didn’t want things to get out of hand so we started mixing a bit of grated carrot into Rusty’s food to help fill him up without putting the kilos on. This is something we saw on TV ages ago and remembered it. Then, as usual, I hit the internet.
Yes, carrots (and lots of other veggies) are good diet food for dogs which means we’ll keep adding them to Rusty’s meals if he’ll keep eating them. Right now, Rusty will begrudgingly eat carrots (you should have seen his face the first time I put a bowl with carrots and kibbles in front of him) if they’re grated and mixed in with his dry food and yogurt (Rusty’s standard meal severed twice daily) but if the carrots are not “juiced” with yogurt or dry food, they stay in his bowl.
The other info gleaned from the internet convinces me that we don’t (currently) have a real problem with Rusty’s weight. Basically, if a dog has a waist, you’re okay. When looking from above, he should be narrow just before the back hips. When looking from the side, he should have a pronounced lift in his belly before the hind legs. You should be able to feel his shoulders, ribs and the top of his tail without too much fat getting in the way. Rusty passes all these tests but we’re still a little worried. At 11 months, shouldn’t he be skinny? Like humans, I imagine dogs are at their thinnest in their teens.
For the record, Rusty’s currently 21.6 kilos (47.6 pounds). That’s pretty heavy for such a small dog! You decide, is he fat?
Above is what he looks like now. Below’s what he looked like a few months ago when I was confident he was a healthy weight.