When my wife and I brought Tessa, a purebred English bulldog, home from a shelter in Nebraska, we were most excited to have a new bundle of joy in the house. But admittedly, I had the ulterior motive of wanting to help Tessa shed some weight and regain her quality of life. At 3 and a half years old, she spent most of her life in a small kennel eating a free fed diet consisting exclusively of Iams kibble. I knew that not only could we give Tessa a loving home, but also a new lease on life.
To start, Tessa weighed just over 57 pounds and her chest measured 31 inches. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an English bulldog of her size is the equivalent of a 5’ 4” woman being 60 pounds overweight. We knew something had to change, and fast. Once we got Tessa home, the biggest change for her was the end of free feeding, or grazing, as we like to call it. Along with this was a drastic diet change. We knew we wanted to feed her Only Natural Pet EasyRaw, which offers all the health benefits of a frozen raw with the convenience of a dry food. The texture is quite different from her kibble diet, so to help with the transition we mixed a small amount of EasyRaw with a high protein, high quality dry food, like “I and love and you” Nude Food. Every couple days we added a little more raw and a little less kibble, until now she’s eating almost all EasyRaw.
We also have her on a variety of supplements, including digestive enzymes to make sure she’s getting all of the nutrients she can from the food, a daily multi-vitamin to make sure she’s maintaining overall wellness, and a joint support supplement, because all the extra weight has been tough on her joints and because of one of the most important parts of her weight loss plan: EXERCISE!
One of the biggest factors that led to Tessa’s obesity was her sedentary lifestyle. Well that changed right away. From her walk out of the shelter, to her nightly walk down the street, we’ve been keeping Tessa moving as much as we can. She loves getting out exploring and being able to keep up with Annie, Seuss, Gia and Goose at the office. It’s definitely a long way to her ideal weight, but every journey begins with a single step.