Fighting Pet Obesity

It is a battle most humans have faced – the battle of the bulge.  But what do we do when our 4-legged kids begin to put on a few pounds?    The Beagle Brigade’s Annie has fought this battle since she was 6 months old.   Momma has become a bit of a pro at finding ways to help Annie lose weight and keep it off.

The first step was finding the right food.  Many of the commercial foods on the market offer a “diet” variety, but the quality of the food isn’t always so great.  Come to find out a lot of the higher quality kibbles actually have less calories and are better for us.

After finding the right food, the next step is determining the right portion. You have to be certain not to cut it back too much or too fast.  Momma said that is the hard part because you want to see the weight loss right away and you think it will happen quicker if you feed them less, but that doesn’t work.  It takes time.  You have to just cut it back a little bit each day.

One thing you have to really be careful about is treats.  Treats can be loaded with calories.   Momma reads the calorie content of all the treats we get.   There are a lot healthy ones that have just a few calories each.   Sometimes they are small, but since they are low in calories we can have two or three and still maintain our figures.

Momma also found out that there are a lot of yummy fruits and veggies we can have that are low in calories.  Green beans, carrots, squash, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, snap/snow peas are just a few of our favorite veggies.  We get ours steamed in a big veggie medley, which we love, love, love.   Just like everything you give your pet, you should always do your research first.  For example, grapes are bad for doggies, but pineapple is okay.  Another big favorite amongst us beagles is pumpkin.  One tablespoon of canned pumpkin is only about 5 calories.  We say YUM!

Of course, there is another part of any good diet plan and that is exercise.  Walking is generally the first thing everyone recommends, but that isn’t always an option.  We love to run and chase each other, so we get a lot of exercise, but Annie doesn’t always like to play with us.  Momma had to look for other ways to help her exercise.  She found something called a buster cube.  You put the food inside of it and we have to push it around to get the food back out.   It drops a few pieces of kibble out at a time.  Another easy option is throwing a ball for us to fetch or playing tug of war with a rope toy.   Even just a few minutes of play each day will help burn those calories.

Finding the right balance isn’t always easy and not all things work the same for everyone, so it is best to find what works for you and then stick to it.  It will keep your puppy dog healthy and extend his/her life.


(Please note that you should always consult your veterinarian before starting your pet on any diet or exercise regimen.)

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Digging up your Roots

Although the title might make you think about your pup’s heritage, that is not what this post is about.   This post is about the things naughty little puppies love to do – dig and chew.

See last weekend us beagles were taking a Saturday afternoon nap with momma when the phone rang.  It was daddy asking momma to come over right away.   Our sister, Bella, loves to dig holes in the yard and she loves to chew on roots and wood chunks.   Bella is an itty bitty 7 pound chi-weenie, but she is as stubborn as they come.  She doesn’t listen when momma and daddy tell her not to chew on things that aren’t made for puppies.   It seems Saturday afternoon was no different.  Little Miss Bella was digging holes in the yard and found some fresh tree roots to gnaw on.  That is where the problem came in.  A piece of the roots she was chewing on got stuck on her teeth across the back of her mouth.  Thankfully daddy noticed right away, but the chunk was stuck real good and Bella has a tiny little mouth and well, daddy has big hands.  He tried several times, but couldn’t get the root piece off her teeth.   He was afraid he was going to hurt her or break her teeth.   Bella was very fortunate that didn’t happen and after a few more attempts, daddy was finally able to get the roots off her teeth safely.

We were real worried about Bella and are so happy she is okay.   Momma said us beagles are just as naughty as Bella.   She said she is always taking bits of plastic and junk away from us.   We love to play and get into things.  We don’t know about the bad things that could happen if we swallowed something we shouldn’t.  We are glad momma thinks about these things for us.

We want to make sure that nothing happens to any other little doggies, so we are writing this post to remind all pet parents to watch their 4-legged kids closely.

Happy and safe playing!

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Introducing the Beagle Brigade

Khloe (top left), Scooter, Sophie, Vinny, Annie (left to right) and Rascal, the cat.

We are very excited to introduce ourselves.   We are Annie, Khloe, Vinny, Scooter and Sophie.   We are all between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old and live with 2 big parrots and 7 cats.  We have a momma and a teenage human sister.  We have a daddy, too, but he doesn’t live with us.  We visit him and his 3 doggies on the weekends and he comes by and sees us sometimes on his way home from work.  We also have temporary friends stay with us from time to time while they are looking for their forever homes.  It is a big family, but we always have a lot of fun and momma says we are super spoiled.  We don’t know anything about that, but we do get lots of love and have lots of toys to play with.

We all had different starts in life…

A little over 2 years ago Momma decided it was time to add another member to the family.  She always loved Beagles so she started searching and found Annie.  Annie was just 7 weeks old but momma knew she was perfect and brought her home.

When Annie was 6 months old, momma decided she needed a friend.  She found Khloe who was 7 months old and needed a new home because her momma and daddy didn’t have time for her.  They lived in an apartment and worked a lot so Khloe spent most of her life in a crate.  Khloe was so excited when she came to live with momma because she had never had a backyard of her own before.  She thought the idea of opening the door and there being a yard there was the best thing on earth.  She still does.  It is one of Khloe’s favorite places.

About a year later momma heard of a boy beagle that had been found running down a busy road.  He was about 1 year old and the people that found him couldn’t find his owners.  So, momma said he could come stay here.   Vinny loves to play and decided this new home was a great place for him to just be a Beagle.

Khloe and Vinny loved each other instantly, but Annie was a little jealous.  A couple of weeks later, Daddy told momma that maybe we should get another boy to even everything out and maybe Annie wouldn’t be so jealous.  So, momma started looking and found Scooter.  Scooter was just over a year old and his situation was like Khloe’s – he was living in a crate most of the time in an apartment.  Well, until he got his daddy evicted.  Then they went to live at his grandparents’ house, but their dogs didn’t like the idea of sharing their house, so Scooter had to find a new home.  Momma met with him and he was a little shy, but momma figured he would open up after he got settled in.  After all – this is the house where Beagles get to be Beagles.  Momma was right and Scooter settled right in.  He never had a momma before but decided he really liked having one and now he never leaves her sight.

That was supposed to be where the story ended – just the four of us.  Four dogs was already more then momma had anticipated and Vinny and Scooter had both just come to live with us within few weeks of each other.   But see momma has a heart condition.  It is very soft.  She has a hard time saying no when someone is in real need.  She was looking at her Facebook page one day and someone had posted a picture of a Beagle that was at the pound and about to be put to sleep.  She was marked for rescue only because the people who dumped her at the pound said she was aggressive.  Momma went to work trying to find a rescue group to help but with no luck.  So, momma said Sophie could come here until her forever home could be found if a rescue group could help get her from the pound.   Thankfully the shelter had some space, so Sophie was given a reprieve and momma continued working on saving her.  It took two stressful days, but on what was supposed to be Sophie’s last day on earth – momma went and picked her up from the pound.  Come to find out Sophie had no aggression problems – she was just a hyper one year old puppy.  She instantly bonded with the rest of us Beagles and after only a week and a half – momma realized that Sophie was already part of the family and wasn’t going anywhere.

So, that is how we each came be part of the Beagle Brigade.  Momma said she is certain we will have lots of adventures to share so we will be back soon!

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