Fat Aussies

Lots of hikes are good for you both.

Fat Aussies are a major problem. Nearly everywhere you go, their little swollen bodies dominate over healthy, fit ones. Dogs are part of the obesity epidemic, and it stresses everything in their system.

The best way to treat obesity is to stop it where it starts – when you acquire a dog, you may try free-choice feeding it high quality dry kibble. If the dog self regulates (many Aussies will if not put in a food-competitive environment), you’re golden.

But if this doesn’t work for you, 3/4 cup of a high quality kibble for every 25 lbs of dog is a good rule of thumb. It seems like so very little, but remember that they really are only 35-55 pounds when fit (on average), and that doesn’t take too many calories to maintain, even very active. Simply ignoring pleas for extra food will eventually teach them to knock it off.

Don’t express guilt or love with food. Your dog will be just as happy with a few minutes of frisbee as a couple treats. Treats should be reserved for extra special days to make YOU feel good, and for training, and that’s it. Giving dogs calorie-free chew toys is one way to occupy them without fattening them.

Need more motivation? Get fit with your dog: Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound: How You and Your Dog Can Lose Weight, Stay Fit, and Have Fun Together (New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond)