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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Tripawds, Take the Pet Obesity Prevention Survey
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The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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12 October 2022 - 3:33 am
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Calling all pet parents! It's time to take the 2022 Pet Obesity Prevention Survey! Together, our feedback helps the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention understand where our heads are at when it comes to our pet's weight and diet.

2022 Pet Obesity Prevention Survey
Sign up to take the 2022 Pet Obesity Prevention Survey

Each year, the survey answers facilitate better conversations and information exchanges with our pet's veterinary team. With pet obesity rates skyrocketing to 60% for cats and 56% for dogs, your input is more important than ever.

The Pet Obesity Prevention Survey is a Great Time To Discuss Tripawd Weight Loss!

We have all felt the challenges of helping a Tripawd maintain a healthy weight. Our Wyatt Ray's weight was constantly up and down. It's hard to keep a Tripawd slim. You simply can't exercise Tripawds the same way you would a four-legged dog.

But you know what? Exercise isn't the secret to helping a Tripawd lose weight!

According to the founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, Dr. Ernie Ward:

“Weight loss in dogs and people is about 60 to 70 percent of what we eat, and only 30 to 40 percent what we burn,” says Dr. Ward. “For cats it’s 90 percent diet and only 10 percent exercise. So if you’re going to play the numbers game you focus much more on the food bowl.” -- Dr. Ernie Ward, "Weight Loss Ideas for Pets on Three (and Four) Legs"

Most recently, we had a weight loss journey with our own Honorary Tripawd, Nellie B. Dawg.

In August, just after we officially adopted Nellie, she weighed in at 79 pounds. That's a pretty hefty weight for a female German Shepherd dog. She should've weighed anywhere between 50 and 70 pounds (23 - 32 kg). 

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With her bad leg, the excess pounds put tremendous stress on her frame and mobility. Something had to change. We got serious about her weight loss, which you can read about here in our Eating Healthy Discussion Forum topic.

It makes us hoppy to report that as of Thursday September 29, Nellie weighed in at a svelte 64 pounds! That's a weight loss of fifteen pounds.

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The moment of truth: Nellie weighs in at 64 pounds!

If you consider that 1 pound of excess weight on a dog is the equivalent of 5 pounds on a human, Nellie technically lost 75 pounds! She moves better, she gets to go on longer walks, and doesn't tire as easily.

How We Helped Nellie the Honorary Tripawd Lose Weight

No, we didn't starve her. Or start exercising her like crazy. She has a bad leg that prevents any kind of rigorous exercise for now. What Nellie's weight loss took was carefully measuring her kibble into a container at the start of each day.

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This is the amount of dry food she gets, no more, no less.

It's about 1.25 cups total and based on these instructions from her rehab therapist. That's far different from what the bag recommends! She gets unlimited amounts of veggies and fruits if she wants them. Lucky for us, she loves any food!

Nellie's fitness routine is simple. She gets two short walks a day, about 10 minutes long. Then she hops into her dog stroller for more fun with the pack. 

We do Tripawds FitPAWS workouts a couple times a week, but it's a very gentle activity. Just a few minutes, nothing too rigorous. We have fun strengthening our bond and her core muscles too!

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That's all it took to help our honorary Tripawd lose fifteen pounds. We aren't saying it will be the same for your Tripawd or other pet to lose weight. Every pet's weight loss journey is different. But the best place to begin is to meet with an animal rehabilitation therapist to find out how to help your Tripawd lose weight too.

Don't forget, take the 2022 Pet Obesity Prevention Survey!

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