We received Gozer's weight-loss information sheet earlier this week. It says that we're going to turn Gozer into a supermodel :) Her last weight at the vet was 11.8kg and the vet wants her down at 10kg. Gozer is to lose the weight over at least nine weeks; losing it more quickly would be bad.
I know 1.8kg doesn't sound like much weight but it is 15% of her body weight and that's a significant amount. Imagine if you had to lose 15% of your body weight - it would take a while! It's also important that the weight come off slowly so that she stays healthy.
To lose the weight, Gozer is allowed 440 calories per day of which at most 10% of the calories can come from food. Therefore, Gozer is now allowed only 3/4 cup of her food twice daily. That's down from about a cup of food twice daily and I think we were actually feeding her even more than that. When packed tightly, her food used to completely cover the bottom of her food dish and now it doesn't cover the bottom at all. Packing her food tightly leaves about one-third to one-half of the dish exposed.
The goal we've been given is to give Gozer only 30 calories in treats each day. Currently we give her a small amount of peanut butter in the mornings which we figured to be about eight calories. I know I've given her up to a full teaspoon of the peanut butter but at 33 calories per teaspoon, that can't happen any more. We also give Gozer a treat when she goes into her kennel in the mornings and evenings. We checked and each one of those treats has 22 calories (or 29 for the other flavour). Therefore, Gozer doesn't get a full cookie any more when she goes into her kennel.
Because Gozer's current food doesn't have any flexibility for things like getting a bath (when she would normally get about two liver bits at eight calories each), we need to re-work what treats we're feeding her. We have room to cut down on her kibble when she gets more treats so we can always do that. We're also going to do some investigation into other treats with fewer calories (including things like carrots and apples; the vet also suggested cat treats) so that we have more flexibility in what we give her.
I'd also like to be able to give her more volume of treats for the same calories, if possible. Gozer has been on her diet for a couple of days now and I think she thinks she's starving. When she sleeps on the chair in front of the tv she almost always has one of her squeaky toys in her mouth. When she's not up on the chair with me, she's looking for insects to eat. Poor girl. I know how she feels, being hungry all the time. I figure if we can give her treats that are more filling and have fewer calories, she'll be happier.
I am looking forward to seeing our little fluffybutt becoming leaner. Already she seems to have more energy on her walks and when playing so I think that she'll like being leaner, too.