We already know that obesity is a condition which, nationally, affects hundreds of thousands of people, but were you aware that pets can also suffer from obesity? In a 2016 clinical survey of U.S. pets, a shocking 59 percent of cats and 54% of dogs were classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarian. And just like humans can have health issues related to obesity, cats and dogs can as well.
When Lu-Seal the chihuahua was abandoned, she weighed an incredible 16 pounds—a chihuahua should weigh less than six pounds. The nine-year-old pooch had numerous weight-related health issues and while these issues may have a been a cause for concern for some pet parents, Julia Morley was up to the task.
Lu-Seal looks like a seal and was abandoned at nine years old.
#throwbackthursday to when I was in the shelter and still weighed almost 16 pounds! I didn't feel like Wonder Woman then, but I do now 😊😊 Photo courtesy of @terrorist_rollerblader ❤ . . . . . P.S. if any other wpahs/@harsaveslives employees or volunteers have pictures of me hiding on your phones, I'd love to see them!
In a post on Pet Insider, Morley wrote how Lu-Seal was hardly able to walk when she was adopted. In addition to having arthritis she had also torn her CCL in both knees. Morley said that initially Lu-Seal could only walk a few feet at a time, but the new owner was determined to help the chihuahua get back to a healthy weight.
“The key is to keep trying and stay patient,” Morely wrote on Pet Insider. “It may take lots of short walks throughout the day.”
Morley took the obese chihuahua to the veterinarian and the two made a plan to get Lu-Seal back in shape. Not surprisingly it involved a lot of the same tactics used to get a person back into shape.
Lu-Seal needed to lose at least eight pounds—half of her body weight.
Lu-Seal’s vet came to the conclusion that a diet of 250 calories a day would be what Morley should aim to feed her dog. That meant Lu-Seal received 200 calories in regular food and if necessary she could have 50 calories worth of treats.
The chihuahua also started a fitness routine. Morley purchased a fitness tracker for Lu-Seal—yes, they make fitness trackers for dogs—so she could track her pup’s progress.
“Lu-Seal has gone from being in the bottom 20% of chihuahuas to being an average chihuahua!” she wrote of Lu-Seal’s progress of being able to only walk a few feet to now being able to walk a mile at a time.
Since being adopted, Lu-Seal has lost over six pounds (150 human pounds) and is well on her way to becoming “normal” again.
Morley, who documents Lu-Seal’s progress on Instagram, said that the six and a half pounds Lu-Seal has lost is equivalent to a person losing 150 pounds.
“Weight loss in dogs, just like in humans, takes time,” she wrote. “Your dog should only lose 1-2% of his or her body weight each week.”
Every week Lu-Seal makes progress towards a healthy weight for her breed. And if you weren’t able to tell how much weight Lu-Seal has shed, you can definitely see how much happier the little dog appears. Who wouldn’t be excited about going on lots of fun adventures with their enthusiastic new owner?