Kids love to point to C-Biscuit and Machu Picchu and call out, “Look at the skinny dogs!” We can guess what the adults are thinking: Skinny bitches.
Realizing that canine obesity is a national problem, Biski & Picchu are thinking of doing a dog weight-loss book, which could even be part of the successful Skinny Bitch series. Their barking points would include:
- Exercise: Sure, some of being thin is genes. Biski and Picchu admit to being well-endowed there. But the other part is getting off your hindquarters and exercising!
How much exercise do dogs need? An hour of walking a day seems to be the minimum for good health & behavior. Biski and Picchu walk 3 to 5 miles a day, plus regular sprints at the soccer field, playdates, indoor romps, and hikes most weekends. Good for the body, good for the spirit. Dr. Oz and others recommend people walk 10,000 steps a day, or about 5 miles. Research also shows that exercising with a buddy keeps people motivated – so walking the dog is good practice on all fronts (and backsides).
- Several human studies have shown that not sleeping enough correlates to weight gain. Maybe it’s time to lose the American glory badge of being sleep-deprived and overworked and start to treat sleep like the dogs do, as an essential part of any health and beauty regime. Biski & Picchu prefer the buddy system here, too. Sleep: When not exercising or eating, the whippets are sleeping.
- Eat Well: As a child, my sister had a t-shirt that read, “If you love me, don’t feed me junk.” Learn to read labels, both theirs and ours. In dog food and treats, avoid meat by-products, chemical preservatives, sugars, corn and soy. If you don’t understand the ingredient list, research it or avoid the product. To maintain a healthy weight for your pooch, feed high-quality food twice a day, and follow this advice from trainer Victoria Stilwell in her book, It’s Me or the Dog:
It’s a question of monitoring your dog. If he’s getting plenty of exercise but is still gaining weight, you’re feeding him too much. If he’s regularly leaving a lot in his bowl after 20 minutes are up, you’re offering him too much. If he’s lethargic and losing weight, or if he’s ravenous at every meal, he may need a calorie boost. A dog is the right weight when you can feel his ribs clearly but can’t see them.