If you are a company who sends me a FREE SAMPLE, please remember that this does NOT mean I will automatically give you a positive review. If your product is crap, I will blog about it. If your product is awesome, I will blog about it - probably more than once. I will let everyone know that they should purchase this product. I might even post some links on my blog for people to click on to purchase the item.
Now that I've said that, I have a PSA for you. It's not a product review because Purina wouldn't send me any food to test out; but that's ok. It's simply a review and a PSA with MHO!
I received an email about Project Pet Slim Down (http://www.slimdownyourpet.com/) There is a $20 coupon from Purina Veterinary Diets offered through this email. Here's a bit about what this email said:
Did you know 45% of all dogs in the US are estimated to be overweight or obese? It’s higher for cats – 58% are overweight or obese! A 3-pound weight gain for a 15-pound Boston Terrier is like a 30-pound weight gain on a 150-pound person. A 3-pound gain for a 10-pound cat is like 45 pounds for a 150-pound person! It puts a lot of stress on our pets’ bodies to carry that extra weight.
Project Pet Slim Down offers a three-step process to slim your pet down. Visit the site to get great tips for how to help your pet lose weight responsibly.
Plus you can check out eight adorable dogs and their weight-loss stories, complete with weigh in’s, how-to suggestions and before-and-after’s. Who doesn’t love a great before and after? These dogs managed to lose some serious LBS in just 90 days!
So I went to the website and what I found was ... interesting. There are videos about a bunch of different dogs, what they weighed, how much they were overweight and the weight loss regimen the animals were put on. It is obviously a spin-off of the weightloss reality TV shows (Biggest Loser, XWeighted, etc).
The dogs were put on Purina Veterinary Diets® OM Overweight Management® Canine. From the sounds of it, there was no gradual change-over (though I might be wrong about this). You will note that the people in the video do NOT tell you how much of their previous food they were feeding their dogs. Most "weight loss" foods have a lot of fibre and useless mass in them. This helps fool the humans into thinking they aren't depriving their beloved pets by reducing the food but really doesn't do much for a dog - they are NOT built like a human! It also keeps the dog eating a large amount of food (don't forget - there are only so many cups of food in a bag of dog food and the company only makes money when you buy the bags so it would make sense to lower the amount of calories per cup so you have to feed your dog more AND spend more money!). Now, I've seen dogs go from eating 6 cups of food per day to 2 cups of food per day (different food with different caloric intake); the dog was healthier with the 2 cups! Doggie metabolisms were NOT made to eat excess FIBRE. They are NOT vegetarians like horses are (who DO benefit from beet pulp in their foods sometimes), they are NOT omnivores like people (who should have SOME fibre in their diet but not TOO much!). They are carnivores. Their bodies were designed to eat meat. Yes, some of the bodies they would have eaten would have tripe in it ... that doesn't mean a LARGE portion of their diet was vegetation/fibre. Do we eat grass when we are dieting just to keep our bellies full and calories down?? Why would you do that to your dog?
Now, these dogs were overweight. The mastiff was 30 LBS overweight. The other dogs were all about 30% overweight (according to the vets). Each one of these dogs were put to task with an immediate (huge) increase in their exercise regimen even when the owners told the cameras that the dog gets tired with a short walk. Every one of these dogs were told to leap over jumps!! Ok ... HOLD IT! These dogs are overweight ... and not only have you more than quadrupled their exercise, but you are having them jump over bars!?!?!? ARE YOU INSANE???? Would you like to know what kind of stress you're putting on that dog's joints? Now you are not only adding anaerobic and aerobic exercises to an animal who has not been super active for a while but you are also adding plyometrics?! Good grief. That's like asking a person who needs to lose 30 LBS to do plyometrics ... You'll blow out the person's knee unless you've done strength training to build up those ligaments!! Why wouldn't you do some good water/swimming exercises to start with?? They will safely work the muscles without damaging the joints or ligaments.
I'm not overly impressed with this program. If you want your dog to lose weight, REDUCE the amount of food you are giving him/her!! IF you feed 2 cups twice a day, then feed 1.5 cups twice a day!! STOP FEEDING COOKIES!!!
Take the dog for an extra walk. Build your dog up slowly. Would you be able to get up one morning and run a marathon?? NO. You need to train for that. You have to practice. You have to work up to it. Treat your dog the same way. Don't think that a dog who has had ZERO exercise can just get up and run around the yard to burn off the calories. Take your dog for a walk! Go for a liesurly stroll to begin with! Once your dog is ok with that level of exercise, increase your pace to a walk; then to a fast walk; then to a speed walk; then to intermitten jogging then walking! You build it up over WEEKS ... possibly even MONTHS. You do not just get up one day and say "hm! My dog is fat. He needs to lose weight. Here is some agility equipment to jump over so I don't get bored with what he is doing." NO NO NO NO NO. You need to take your DOGS needs into account.
If you have a 135 LBS mastiff and you want the dog to lose 30 LBS, you should not expect the dog to lose any more than 5 LBS per week (this is the MAX). Expect the same thing for your dog as you would for a PERSON! Think proportionally. So you have a Doxie and it is 10 LBS overweight ... don't try to lose all 10 LBS in one week! As a 200 LBS human you MIGHT be able to lose that much that fast but to a 15 LBS dog, losing 10 lbs is like the equivalent of a 200 LBS human to lose 85 LBS!!!
Don't be a dumbass. Be a good owner. Feed your dog appropriately. Keep them at a HEALTHY weight. Exercise them regularly to their level of fitness (and yours!).
Sorry if this turned into more of a rant than a review ... but these sorts of things DRIVE ME CRAZY.