Take Koda for instance. Listen to her story….
Her whole life Koda has been a little on the chunky side. At one point Tracey had me put her on diet dog food. It actually helped. Then, this spring, Kelly was training for a running relay race. She was taking Koda on 6 mile runs.
One day I looked at Koda and realized for the first time, she had a little waist. I know a dog doesn’t really have a waist. But she developed an “indent” where you’d think a waist is on a dog (near her hindquarters).
I couldn’t believe it. It was a beautiful thing. Then, one day, I looked at her again and she didn’t have that waist anymore. She actually looked as fat as she’d ever looked. And we went to the vet for her yearly check-up and she was 68 pounds – 10 pounds heavier than the year before. Mind you, I’m not running with her, but I’m hiking with her on a regular basis.
I had switched her to a regular older adult food when she got “skinny.” I switched back to the diet food. But instead of getting lighter, she was getting heavier. Tracey came back from taking Koda to donate blood at her emergency hospital and exclaimed, “did you know Koda is 72 pounds?!!!”
Okay, now I was getting worried. We talked about strategies to ensure she wasn’t getting extra food before we assumed the worst (think thyroid issue or mass growing inside of her). Made sure everybody knew not to give her too many cookies. Stuff like that.
We should have put making sure she couldn’t get into the food bins on the list.
My mom was the one that figured it out when Koda was more interested in her ball than eating one evening. So I talked to everyone about making sure the food bins were locked (they have a little latch on them).
That first night, Columbus’ food bin was unlocked. Andy swore he locked it after the morning feeding. So, I put their dishes on the lid, right near the latch. (That was my mom’s suggestion again. She is not too smart for her own good, she’s just smart.)
That night, sure enough, the dish on top of Columbus’ food bin was near the back of the lid, and the latch was unlocked.
Aha! Koda was caught. The bins now have two heavy objects on them.
And, btw, Columbus’ food is not older dog food and not diet food. It’s food for active dogs in their prime because he’s a growing boy. Koda was going for the steak, not the celery.
I told Koda “you are going to be pretty hungry while you adjust to a normal amount of food.” Today, I went into the garage at 4pm. Feeding time is 5pm. Koda ran to the food bins.
She’s hungry. And that’s what she gets for being too smart for her own good.