Chia's Weight Loss Challenge

Chia's Weight Loss Challenge

My gorgeous girl Chia is now a fit, energised and healthy 5 year old lab, but that wasn’t always the case.

Chia being the runt of her litter, she had always been unique in her size and stature. Much smaller than the traditional Labrador, and about half the size of her brothers and sisters, with what looked like lots of loose fur she may one day grow intro.

Like most dog lovers, I used treats as a form of reward for Chia. It started during training, and then became the go-to bribe of sorts if I needed her to do anything in particular, and without much notice I was treating her just because I loved her. I didn’t realise that this constant addition of treats to her every day meals was resulting in excess calories for her size, weight and activity level.

Being that I work from home often, I was in a fortunate position time wise to ‘meal prep’ Chia's food, and being that there was not a set routine or structure to what she had each day, beyond making sure it was all well sourced and dog friendly proteins and vegetables, I wasn’t keeping track of how much she was eating.

So when Chia was about 4 years old, I realised we had a problem. You see, I had used her unique body shape and short stature as an excuse to what was really going on.

I had been over treating her with food as a reward and that combined with cooking very high calorie meals too big for her activity level, had allowed her to become overweight.

"So much so that I was killing her with love, because of the pressure I was putting on her overall health. Being too big was putting pressure on her joints, slowing her activity level down, and overall not supporting her heart and athletic health."

Something needed to be done.

It was at this time I proudly partnered with Black Hawk as a brand ambassador to share the real food movement for pets! You see, my ethos about celebrating nutrient meals, having a positive mindset and moving every day, aligned so strongly with Black Hawk's core values. It was a match made in heaven, well, until I introduced Chia to the Black Hawk team including Vet Dr Lee. In the most polite way possible, he educated me that perhaps my level of love and care for Chia could come at the expense of her longevity, so of course my ears pricked up and I asked what I could do.