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In our latest article we are looking at one of the many good new stories we are proud to have been a part of. In this case we are looking in to the story of Zeus the Alaskan Malamute who was in desperate need to lose weight in order to live a happier and healthier life.
The story starts with Val Matthews who is the hero of the story. Val and her husband have had dogs most of their lives but after their last one passed over the rainbow bridge they decided that due to their age they would take a break for a while. However, it didn’t take long before they missed the company of a dog and reached out to a not for profit charity rescue centre called Saints Sled Dog Rescue with a view to foster dogs that were in the process of finding their forever homes.
After a brief period Sally Copson-More, North-West Coordinator of Saints Sled got in touch and asked Val to take a look at their website and in particular, at a 7 year old Alaskan Malamute called Zeus.
Val and her husband agreed to take Zeus on a 2 week foster period to start with, giving Saints Sled Rescue Centre time to find Zeus a more long term solution.
Zeus was a loving and friendly dog, although he hadn’t been very well socialised around other dogs and was very reactive on the lead. The other problem with Zeus was that he had become heavily overweight. By the time Val got him for his two week foster period back in August 2020 Zeus had reached a whopping 63kgs, which was around at least 20 to 25kgs more than he should have been.
At 7 years old Zeus, as an Alaskan Malamute, should be in the prime of his life; strong and agile with bags of stamina. However, the reality was that he couldn’t run properly or stand up easily. He certainly couldn’t jump up into the back seat of Val’s car and needed help to do so.
Heather the founder of Saint Sled Dog Rescue got in touch with Val and suggested that she investigate feeding Zeus a raw dog food diet in order to start his journey back to better health.
Val was advised to give us a call here at Nurturing by Nature and speak to one of the team to run through his history and allow us to better advise the best course of action. Val spoke to Sue Morris, one of our specialists, who went through everything and got Val to start Zeus on 350g to 400g of free range raw chicken mince a day and then slowly increased it up to 500g of various raw dog food minces per day.
Over the next few weeks they started to introduce different proteins into Zeus’ diet to ensure he was getting a wide enough variety, and slowly but surely the weight started to drop off.
They immediately started to see a difference in his vitality and general energy levels. Zeus started to run more and was able to lift himself up off the floor with ease. He can even jump from the floor into the car without issue now.
Val continued to monitor Zeus’ weight throughout the process and kept in touch with Sue to ensure she was doing everything she could for Zeus. In August 2021 Val’s vet wanted her to increase Zeus’ daily raw dog food intake up to 600g however, they noticed that he was starting to very slightly increase in weight again so they dropped him back down a tiny amount to 550g per day and he stabilised.
As you can see from the above image, after a recent weigh-in back in October 2021 Zeus had reached his optimal weight of 44kgs and his general vitality and energy levels are right back to where they should have been in the first place.
It was safe to say that Val and her husband fell in love with Zeus and agreed to adopt him giving him his forever home.
They did find out that Zeus suffers from an under active thyroid and has a few minor skin conditions so have diversified his diet to include a bit of white fish, which has helped remedy the issues.
They now order 2 boxes of free range raw dog food every six weeks and give Zeus a variety of different proteins to ensure his diet remains as natural as it would be out in the wild.
In our eyes Val and her husband are heroes. Not only do they support dogs who need their help but in this case, they took on a dog that needed specialist help and gave him the best fighting chance of a happy and healthy life.
We will continue to remain in touch with Val to keep checking in on them and ensure Zeus is keeping them on their toes.
If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight and need some guidance or you have a similar story you would like us to cover, then please get in touch with us here at Nurturing by Nature as we would love to hear from you.
Here at Nurturing by Nature we do all we can to help you better understand your pet’s needs, and as part of that if you register yourself and your pets on our website you’ll get access to an exclusive pet profile section where you input the details of your pet(s) and we can help you understand the right amount of raw cat or raw dog food you will need to buy.