Operation Skinny Dog

I haven’t said much about fitness on here lately, but for once it isn’t because I’ve fallen off the wagon. In fact, I’m very much ON the wagon with the second week of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp. I love the strength workouts she provides because it keeps things feeling new every 2 weeks, which is great for my exercise ADD.

I’m also feeling more fit than I have in a long time. I know I kind of fell off the post-baby body updates because it felt like the posts had run their course, but to my surprise I’ve lost a couple more pounds now that we’re down to nursing only once a day and feel firmer in my midsection. Next up, back of my arms!

Anyways, while I’m feeling great, there is one family member who isn’t feeling as fit.


Aw, I just want to hug her.

GREAT news, though, is that she is really bouncing back from whatever sickness she had. They still aren’t quite sure what it was, but are guessing a severe upper respiratory infection that got out of control. All I know is that she’s back to bouncing around while we finish off her antibiotics and it makes my heart so happy!

However, I have a confession. Since Hailey arrived, Koda has packed on the lbs. She is a vizsla, which is a breed known for their sleek, svelte bodies. Take Sadie for example. Well, Koda has ballooned her way up to 58 pounds, when she should be around 45. She’s embarrassed.

operation skinny dog- embarrased

…but she shouldn’t be. This is through no fault of her own, so I’m feeling MAJOR mommy guilt. We don’t run with her as much as we did before Hailey and now she’s eating more, too, thanks to her little buddy’s messy highchair habits.

So I decided November will be Operation Skinny Dog month. (#operationskinnydog) Everyday in November, Koda and I will go for at least a 1 mile wog. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but that will be the minimum and we are free to go above and beyond. (Side note, that isn’t all the exercise she will get. She roams the yard through the day and swims in the lake, too).

No matter what, we’re doing at least a mile. Yesterday was busy and the day got away from us, so once David got home and Hailey went down, we went for it.

operation skinny dog- ready to run

Koda pranced along beside me and was clearly happy to be out. It wasn’t the longest or fastest run, but we were out there. Together.

operation skinny dog- day one

My walkameter app showed we didn’t quite cover 2 miles, but it felt great. I’m excited for the mile-a-day challenge and ready to help Koda get back to her fighting weight. She’s pumped up, too, and wanted a before picture so she could track her progress.

operation skinny dog- before

Check in at the end of the month to see how she’s done!

I always like to say that pets are people, too and I’m so excited to help my sweet pup get back to being as healthy as she wants to be.

operation skinny dog- kisses

Do you run with your dog?

Daily? How far?



  1. says

    I can’t run (lung issues), but I do walk 2 miles a day (broken up over 2 walks) with my dogs.

    I’m curious – what does Koda eat? I’m still trying to find the best food for my dogs (at least until I can get a stand alone deep freezer to feed them a prey model raw diet).

    • says

      I don’t claim to know a lot about dog nutrition. Koda has been eating Pro Plan Lamb and Rice forever and does great on it. I know there are many more natural brands out there, but our vet says that if this is working well for Koda to stick with it!
      I’ve heard good things about Blue Buffalo, though!
      The prey raw plan sounds fancy! Is that just feeding them meat?

      • says

        Between my two dogs’ issues (one with skin issues, one with chicken and corn allergies), I feel like I know more about dog nutrition than human nutrition!

        Yes, prey model raw is pretty much what it sounds like: giving the dog a whole chunk of raw meat. Feed about 1 to 2% of their ideal body weight, 80% of that from meat, 10% raw bone, 10% organ.

        It can be cheaper than feeding kibble, if you find a co-op that places bulk orders from wholesalers. But, I don’t currently have the space to store it all!

  2. says

    I’ve felt major dog mommy guilt lately too. I’ve been so busy every single day after work, and haven’t really had time to walk Charlie as much. I’d go after dinner, but I don’t want to go in the dark. Ugh, something has to change! I’ve seriously considered hiring a dog walker!

    • Laura says

      My mom is a school teacher and has two of her students come by right after school to walk our dog. She pays them something absurdly low,like $20 a month… But they also earn teacher brownie points! I know you are a teacher…maybe you could consider that! Those kids and home at like 3:05 where my mom is stuck at school til at least 6!

  3. Jess says

    Good luck to you and Koda! We have the exact opposite problem with our vizsla. He just looks sooo skinny, like you can see his ribs and spine. He eats a lot (2 heaping cups 2x a day) and is about 48 lbs (but he’s pretty tall). I have not been as good as I should be about taking him for walks and runs (oh my god the energy this dog has!), so I will join you in this challenge. I might just have to throw in some more treats to fatten my buddy up, sorry Koda 😉

    • Andrea says

      Jess, our mutt was skin, bones and LOTS of muscle. About the same weight and eating the same amount of food (2 heaping cups twice a day, Nutro Lamb and Rice formula). Then I went to Petsmart and the Nutro nutritionist was there. When I told her what and how much we were feeding Lexa (who was there with me) and the nutritionish saw how she looked, we agreed that their “High Endurance” formula might be a good fit for her. Goes from a 20/14 protein:fat ratio to a 30:20. She’s filled out a bit and is eating less. I’d recommend looking into a dog food like that for your pup.

      • Jess says

        Yea we were looking into changing his food. Right now we get his food from the breeder…I think it’s Eagle Pack, but I don’t know much about it. I should just go to Petsmart and speak with a nutritionist if there is one available. Thanks!

    • says

      I remember when Koda was a puppy people thought we starved her because she was so skinny- haha!How old is you vizsla? Koda is 5 now and though still has a ton of energy, doesn’t burn calories like she used to. She eats about 2 cups 2 times a day, too (though her dinner is split into dinner and night time “snack”- ha!). I think I’m going to reduce her food down to 1-1.5 cups 2x a day and see how that goes.
      Male vizslas are supposed to weight more than the females, so it sounds like your pup is healthy as can be! :)

      • Jess says

        Yea people comment alllll the time about how skinny Rush is. It gets really frustrating because he eats so much! He just turned 2 and he isn’t fixed because we are planning on breeding him, so I’m guessing those two factors do play a role in how thin he is. I have heard that vizslas fill out with age so hopefully he’ll put some weight in the next couple of years. Otherwise, he is a perfectly healthy boy with ridiculous amounts of energy :) so he will be overjoyed to be doing this challenge!

  4. says

    Aw, poor Koda!

    I would love to run with my dog but he is awful at it! He has to stop at smell (and mark) like every five seconds. I think it might be easier to run with a girl dog though since they’re not about marking their territory.

  5. says

    As of our last vet visit in March or April we heard that Clyde is slightly above where he should be weight-wise too. He should be about 9-10 lbs, and he’s more like 11-12 (he got bumped to the next bracket of heart-worm pills because of his weight). I do try to walk him every day and we play a lot of fetch with him inside too, but I don’t think with us it’s his activity level as much as the treats he’s getting. My husband is particularly guilty of feeding him lots of people food, more than a mini dachshund should have. I just have to keep reminding Greg not to feed Clyde so much because he’s so little.

  6. Andrea says

    How does Koda do on the gentle lead? I run with Lexa and 95% of the time she’s great. Until she catches a whiff of another dog. Then she gets all crazy and if she sees another dog, my sweetheart of a pup pulls out her “big girl” bark and acts like she wants to rip something apart (note: off leash she is GREAT with other dogs). I do love running with her though. She seems to “get it.” When I’m running, she’s running and focused. When I’m walking, she sniffs, marks, does all the things doggies do.

  7. says

    Awww puppy’s need to workouts to! My cat is pretty overweight (16 pounds) but he has FIV so I just baby him and let him eat whatever he wants :)

  8. Stefanie says

    Aww Koda! My pup is on a green bean diet. She gets half a cup of green beans and a cup and a half of her dry food. The vet said we could sub up to 1 cup of her food with the green beans but I haven’t gotten brave enough to go there yet.

  9. lauren says

    I have two GSPs (similar energy level as vizslas) and run with them 5-6 days per week. They’ve run up to 6 miles with me in ideal weather conditions like this week’s cool mornings in NC. They also swim in the lake and romp/play in the yard.

    We feed our dogs a high protein, grain free food – Earthborn Holistics. Since they are high energy, a higher protein diet is great for them. I’ve trained them on verbal cues for running – and they are great partners.

    We volunteer with a GSP rescue & every foster we’ve had, we’ve trained to run with us (pending they are old enough to run). We had one foster who was so overweight, she didn’t even look like a GSP. After a few months, she had dropped 25 lbs and looked great. It will be great physical & mental stimulation for Koda – Best of luck!

  10. says

    Before we brought our real baby home from the hospital ( a year ago), my wife’s other baby (miniature poodle) weighed in around 15 pounds.

    Let’s just say we think she wasn’t crazy about the new addition stealing Mommy’s attention and decided to eat her feelings. We didn’t really notice until family pointed it out one time and then weighed her to see she’d gained a good five pounds. Oops.

  11. says

    We found ourselves in the same boat with our dog. Our Siberian husky weighed in at 74 pounds at his annual vet visit. The breed standard is 40-60 pounds though he’s always been a solid 70. I never felt so bad. The vet said it was reduced exercise but more than that it was Miles feeding him. Cracker for Miles, cracker for Denali. We’ve been adding a second walk, cutting scraps and slightly reducing food. It’s funny that the tips for human weight loss are the same for dogs! http://bit.ly/TyU6TT

  12. Elizabeth says

    New Reader- I can relate to the mommy guilt! Our pup Churchill is in need of some exercise. I haven’t walked him lately because my son Winston (8 months) was sick last week with a fever virus.

    P.S. I’d love to see a post about your daily routine because that has been a huge struggle for me as a new mom. I’m not getting the whole time management with baby thing which really gets to me because scheduling was always my forte.

    • says

      Hey Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by :) I don’t claim to have the baby thing all figured out, but I’ll post soon about an update on what a typical day looks like for us. Hopefully next week!

  13. says

    I would love a dog to take walks with because it would get me out and active without feeling like its exercise. Also, since my husband works crazy long hours and I’m too scared to take evening/night walks alone, a dog would be perfect for that. Too bad our 700sq apartment doesn’t allow them :)

    But…when we get a house…a puppy might be soon after. Kind of like Miracle on 34th St. All I want is a house and puppy. :)

  14. Brianna says

    Yup, my two 9-year-old pugs have gained some baby weight too! We’ve always struggled with keeping them at an appropriate weight. To add to the problem, they are both allergic to an insane number of foods (one 19 and one 21) so finding a food that won’t pork them up AND won’t set off their allergies is near impossible. I try my best to walk them about a mile a day, but that doesn’t happen more often than it does. They are tricky to take out on my own with the stroller and my husband works late a lot. I know, excuses, excuses :)

    I love the Operation Skinny Dog idea and am excited to participate!

  15. says

    We did #OperationSkinnyDog with Trigger too! He had to lose lbs but being part pug makes that hard. We do about a mile a day most days and now that we have a HUGE backyard he chases squirrels all day long. Operation was a success 😉 good luck with Koda!


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