One day not so long ago I overheard a conversation in a restaurant.
There were four women seated at the table, two of them had their dogs with them, and they were having their weekend morning get together to walk in the park.
One of the little guys was rolling onto his side and getting his belly scratched. The other was starting to fall asleep. It was obvious they were both a little wet and had probably been playing a game of ‘fetch’ that involved throwing and retrieving things out of the pond at the park.
The woman scratching the dog’s belly said “When I die, I hope I come back as a dog, what a great life that would be!”
Another woman at the table sat up straight, her eye’s popped wide and exclaimed quite loudly “I HOPE NOT!”
“With my luck I’d come back as a working dog!”
That made her friends laugh and anyone who had been listening to the women (including me), but it got me thinking about how many dog owners treat their dogs health better than their own.
A well cared for dog gets top quality food, that is measured out. He gets plenty of water, exercise, baths and grooming. He gets shots to prevent from disease, and is socialized on a regular basis.
What if you started living a dogs life? How would that look?
I think it would be fun to throw a ball off the dock – then jump in and go get it. Or throw it up in the air at an angle, enough so you have to run and catch it (am I the only one who did this as a kid?).
Schedule walks twice a day. You can make them in different directions or with different purposes. At least you won’t need to bring a poop bag 🙂
I’ll agree its simpler to have the vet prescribe the food and the portion sizes when there are only a couple of choices for pooch to eat.
We humans have a stack of choices and there is a bit more to learn about portion sizes for various foods. The first suggestion would be to hire a nutritionist or dietitian and work with them to come up with a comprehensive meal program for you.
A quick jump start to measuring your food is simply this:
Three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) have three parts:
1. protein 2. carbohydrates 3. vegetables / fruit
Measured portions for your plate are:
1. protein – pre-cooked size of your palm.
2. carbohydrates (this is potato, rice, pasta, corn, etc) the size of your fist. If you’d like to figure out what that is in terms of cups, get a large measuring cup with the increments marked on the side. Fill it enough to be able to submerge your fist in up to the bottom of your wrist. Look at what the water line is at and subtract the first measurement from that.
For example, if you have an 8 cup measuring cup, fill it with 3 cups of water, put your fist in and if the water measures 4 cups, then your carb portion per meal will be 1 cup.
3. Fruit & Vegetables – depending on the calorie content of a high sugar source, it should be about 1.5 times your carbs.
Two snacks (pre-lunch, pre-dinner) have two parts. 1 & 2 or 1 & 3
Half your meal portions. Example 1/2can of tuna and 1/2 cup of rice is a snack.
As you lose weight, these portions will change because you are also losing fat off your hands. As your hands grow smaller, so will your portion sizes.
ALSO, please bear in mind its a good idea to start learning how many calories and nutrients you are consuming with your meals. This ‘hand to mouth’ method is only a quick start and to give you an idea of what portions look like.
You would learn what you needed to do to keep your dog healthy. Take the time to learn about yourself.
Feed yourself like a dog with top quality food!
Deep fried, fast food, high chemical content packaged foods wouldn’t get near your dog would they? Don’t you want people to pat you on the head and tell you how shiny your coat is?
Maybe not, but you’ll feel really good on the inside.
Find out what you may be sensitive to, learn to make better choices, and how to buy the most nutrient dense food sources for your dollars. There is a misconception that eating healthy has to cost more and that just isn’t true. It might take a little more thought and preparation though.
But you’d do it if your dog needed you to right?
Dog day afternoons
Instead of scheduling cheat days (you wouldn’t feed your dog a pile of crap once a week would you?), schedule “Dog Days”. Find a nice, soft, warm bed to curl up on for a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon. Scratch at will then close your eyes.
One of these days you will wake up and realize you are full of energy, trim and toned, and your life has truly made a better turn and gone to the dogs!