• Yo-yo dieting!


    I know we all can relate to yo-yo dieting; you lose a few pounds, gain a pound, then lose another. Well, I’m learning this happens with our pets, too.

    We were so excited when Baylor lost two pounds last week only to have him get on the scale today and gain all of that weight back!

    My husband and I were very busy last week; he was out of town and I hosted several community events. Although I ran with Baylor twice, he didn’t get nearly as much exercise as he needs.

    He also missed a day of boot camp. 

    His fitness coaches at Barking Dog Fitness told me not to be discouraged and that he could have gained some muscle, too.

    But they do want me to make sure Baylor isn’t getting any scraps from my children. We also need to step up his exercise routine this week. I’ve decided to run with him every other night this week to see if that helps.

    This week’s story will focus on nutrition. I know just how overwhelming it can be to decide what food to buy your dog.  There are so many brands, varying prices, so many “catch phrases” and “marketing claims”. It is so confusing!

    Most health issues in dogs — itchy skin, ear infections — are solved by food. In fact, many vets start with the question, “What are you feeding your dog?”

    We talked to  Erin Holder, a veterinarian who has researched pet nutrition for more than 10 years. She told us food is just as important as exercise when it comes to your pet’s health and fitness.  

    Nutrition is the foundation for excellent health in our pets, Holder says. She told us many foods you buy at the grocery store are filled with processed products and preservatives that are very difficult for your dog to digest.

    Protein, she said, should be the main ingredient in your pet’s food. It should be the first or second ingredient listed on the back of the bag.  

    In my story next Tuesday on Eyewitness News at Noon, we’ll go over which ingredients to look for and which to stay away from when buying dog food.  

    Holder recommends unprocessed whole foods whenever possible.  Many of the dogs she treats didn’t start losing weight until they switched to whole foods, like the kind you can buy at Rick’s Dog Deli.

    We wanted to see what this dog deli was all about, so we stopped in for a visit. This place is amazing!

    It’s a hidden gem on Corrine Drive near Winter Park Road in Orlando.  They custom design your dog’s food  based on the history of your dogs breed. How neat is that?

    The owner and all the people who work here are so nice.  They only use human grade food, so your dog gets the same quality ingredients that you eat.  

    They have a special weight loss formula for overweight pets, too. I’m thinking Baylor may need to try this food sooner rather than later!

    Rick’s food is slightly more expensive than the high grade kibble you buy at the pet store. High grade dog food averages $2.50 per pound; Rick’s Dog deli food is between $3.50 and $4 per pound for 100 percent whole foods.  

    Veterinarians say you save money in the long run because feeding your pet whole foods means fewer health problems and fewer trips to the vet.  

    If you’d like to cook your food at home, you can, but Dr. Holder says finding the right ratios can be tough. She recommends talking to your vet to come up with the right formula.

    We will have much more on nutrition next Tuesday and we’ll update you on Winston, the adorable Shiba Inu-Beagle mix we met last week after his owner was motivated to get him in shape when she heard about Baylor’s journey.

    If you want to learn more about Rick’s Dog Deli, check it out here: www.RicksDogDeli.com

    For an unbiased way on finding the best dog food by ratings, Dog Advisor is a great resource: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

    See you Tuesday !

    Hugs -- Vanessa and Baylor