Regular readers will know that Barney has been part of our family for 13 years now, he came to live with us by chance when he was 6 months old (roughly). He was left tied up to a bus stop the week before Christmas and picked up by the council dog warden. The rest is history as they say.
He slotted straight into our family, was house trained within the week and then began the slow and gentle process of feeding him up. He was healthy and passed all his vet checks but was seriously under-weight. You could see his bones poking through his skin.
The vets advise to gradually do this as he wasn’t used to eating a lot of food, over a period of a few months his weight increased, we still had to have him weighed regularly to make sure he was gaining weight. They were happy. Of course once at a healthy weight we didn’t have to take him for so many check ups and he loved his food…..sometimes a little too much.
He then went the other way and was over-weight (story of my life, they say pets are like their owners after all), so we had to decrease his food levels. He always had 2 very long walks a day and that hasn’t ever changed although he is slowing down now he is 13 and sleeps most of the day – even refusing the odd walk here and there.
As he is now older and less mobile we are beginning to worry about his weight and health more and more. He struggles with the stairs now, sleeps most of the day and is visibly over weight again due to being less mobile and a mix of the kids feeding him their foods.
When he was a puppy we stuck to one brand of pet food so as no not upset his tummy – if we changed to a different brand his would suffer from an upset tummy.
Once older we grew a little slack and stopped buying the one the vet recommended – this started when we ran out and couldn’t get to the vet to purchase nor get to the bigger pet stores, we just grabbed something different from the supermarket and hoped for the best.
It turned out he was fine with this and we didn’t return to the more expensive brand, in fact we started buying whatever was on offer at the time. We have always fed him the tins of Pedigree though as these are the only ones he liked.
Now he is 13 years old, over weight and moving less it is really time to start readdressing his food once again which is where PEDIGREE have stepped in to help. They have sent him a month’s supply of their new dry dog food and asked us to make the switch to see if it really can make a difference to his health.
Because Barney was eating a different brand of dry food we needed to introduce this new one gradually to make sure if didn’t upset his stomach – something which is common with dogs of this age.
- For the first 2 days we gave him his tin of food alongside 75% of the usual dry food, mixed with 25% of PEDIGREE®’s dry dog food.
- For days 3 and 4, he had his tinned food alongside a 50% mix of old dry food and the new one
- For days 5 & 6, he had his tinned food with 25% of the old food and 75% new food
- Finally on day 7 he was eating his tin of food along with only the new dry dog food.
As Barney has always loved his food he didn’t bat an eyelid at the change so it was a very painless process.
The new dry dog food is harder in texture than his old one was so makes his jaws work a little harder, this is actually a good thing as the texture is good for his teeth and it also contains an active ingredient which helps to prevent the build-up of tartar. From my point of view this can only be a good thing as we have tried to clean his teeth before and he hated it, and I am not all that keen on getting too close to his mouth.
Once thing which I really noticed since switching to this brand was his breath didn’t smell as bad – dog’s breath is never pleasant however it is now a lot better than it was; as he sleeps under my side of the bed this has been noticeable to me when I’m woken up with a slobbery kiss.
This dry dog food also contains sunflower oil which is a natural source of Omega 6 fatty acids and zinc to help keep dogs skin and coats looking and feeling at its best. It also contains vitamin E which is an antioxidant and minerals which are key to helping support a strong immune system. It is just as important to look after our pets immune system as we do ours and our children’s – dogs are always sniffing everything they come across and eating leftovers found on the ground. Living where we do there are lots of foxes in the fields and Barney can’t help himself but roll in their mess, which of course is horrid for us to clean up but comes with added worries of all the diseases they carry so helping his immune system from the inside is just as important as making sure he is regularly treated for worms, fleas and ticks.
Over the course of this trial, Barney has the wag back in his tail which is great to see and we have made a conscious effort to remove the added treats and not feed him any left over food from our plates.
He has lost weight and his eyes are brighter again – he still loves his sleep but at 13 years old that isn’t going to change sadly but he still does love to chase a ball and run around the fields after the kids or a football.
I’ll be keeping up this new regime with Barney, forcing him up and our for his morning walk again even if he would rather sleep and I am confident the rest of his excess weight can be lost – and instead of our treats this Christmas I will be baking up another batch of homemade dog biscuits for him as a special Christmas treat.
*This post is in collaboration with PEDIGREE®,”