Book Review: Dieting With My Dog by Peggy Frezon

Roxanne Hawn

Sometimes issues with food as an adult come from childhood hunger. Many use food as emotional comfort or a stress coping mechanism. Some of us carry baby weight, empty-nest weight, or eldercare weight. When times are tough, many look to food as a friend.

And it’s all too easy to “love” our canine pals too much through food, leading to weight issues in our dogs.

No matter the reason for weight troubles in yourself and your dog, your best weight-loss partner may only be as far as the end of your leash.

Just ask Peggy Frezon, author of Dieting with My Dog (2011) and The Dieting with My Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance (2013).

The first book, a memoir, is the true story of how Frezon and her chubby spaniel (Kelly) motivated each other to lose weight and get fit. She wrote the second book to answer all the practical questions about how you can do this too. “The guide is full of tips, healthy snacks, activities, and even step-by-step Woof Workouts you can do with your dog,” Frezon says.

The fundamentals are pretty simple though. First, while training Kelly, Frezon realized her own lack of “obedience” as she tried to follow an avalanche of diet and exercise advice. Things really kicked in, however, after Frezon’s cousin – about the same age and lifestyle – had a heart attack.

With a family history of deadly heart attacks, as well as her own high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and precursors of diabetes, Frezon buckled down.

No, she didn’t do anything fancy or follow the latest diet fad. Frezon and Kelly simply started walking and eating healthier. Despite often cold weather in New York, where they live, and the seemingly rampant problem of off-leash dogs charging them on streets and in parks near their home, our intrepid weight-loss idols fought the good fight:

  • Frezon lost 40 pounds.
  • Kelly lost 6 pounds (15% of her body weight).

Kelly not only urged walks by sitting near the front door, she also nosed around the elliptical machine to encourage Frezon to hop on and get some exercise inside too.

Frezon’s story and practical advice is both down to earth and heartwarming. Her storytelling is natural and seamless. If you’re looking for some real-world motivation to get your weight – or your dog’s weight – down, read both Dieting with My Dog books.

And, if you have an empty nest or soon will, you’ll find Frezon’s insights helpful on that front too.

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