The holidays are over and we have put on a few pounds as a result. But what about your dog? Chances are your best buddy has also gained a few extra pounds this holiday season as well. Obesity has become one of the fastest growing health problems in dogs. How does your pet become overweight? The answer is simple…too many calories and not enough exercise, or so it seems. That’s not to say there aren’t other reasons for obesity in your pet, such as hormonal or other illnesses. But the responsibility falls on the dog’s owner who is feeding the dog, and most of the time not even aware that they are killing the dog with kindness.
Obesity can cause heart and respiratory problems, glucose intolerance, and musculoskeletal problems in pets and can shorten their lifespan by 2 1/2 years. It is important to take your dog to the veterinarian for wellness visits, especially the senior dog. Your veterinarian can determine if they are overweight and can check for any diseases that may be related to their obesity.
How can you tell if your pet is overweight:
- Glide your hand along their ribs. You should be able to feel their ribs, but not see them. There should be a thin layer of fvat that you feel between your hand and your pet’s rib cage.
- When standing above your pet, look down and you should be able to see an obvious waist behind their ribs.
How to keep your pet at a healthy weight:
- Don’t overtreat! Treats, like people treats, can be very heavily ladened with fat and calories. It is important to limit the treats.
- Check with your veterinarian as to a feeding plan for your dog to ensure he is getting proper nutrition but not over-feeding him.
- Keep a record of your dog’s weight and his progress. Weigh him regularly.
- Make sure to exercise your pet on a regular basis. Taking your dog for walks can get you up and moving as well as your dog. If endurance is a problem, try taking your dog on more frequent shorter walks.
You don’t have enough time to walk your friend? You can always contact