Is Your Dog Overweight? Should He be on a Diet?
Has Fido become fat? How do you know, and what should you do about it?
Your dog is not much different than you are, he or she can become overweight and ideally needs to shed a few pounds.
It’s estimated that around 40 – 50% of all dogs in the United States have become too heavy…and the interesting thing is that many pet owners don’t even recognize the fact that their dog weighs too much. Not only that, but they also don’t realize that too many pounds plays a direct role in their dog’s health, how long they live and what their quality of life is.
Health issues are:
- Problems breathing
- Kidney disease
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of cancer
How do you know if your dog is overweight?
If you think your dog might weigh too much, there are things you can look for you to help detect a problem:
- Begin by knowing your dog’s breed and what their ideal weight should be.
- You can weigh your dog on your scale, by weighing yourself first, then step on the scale holding him and deducting your weight from the total weight of both of you.
- Checking the abdomen can be helpful in a couple to ways
- As you look at your dog from the side, the abdominal area should appear to be tucked up higher than the chest.
- As you look at your dog from above, the abdomen should appear thinner than the hips and chest, somewhat resembling an hour glass. It’s kind of like he has a waistline.
- Check your dog’s rib cage, as you run your hands across the ribs, you should be able to feel them enough to count them.
- The spine is another area that you should be able to run your hands over and though they should have a thin layer of fat, you should be able to feel your dog’s bones.
Aside from checking your dog physically, there are other indicators that could point to an overweight dog.
- Lack of interest in activities they once liked
- Decreased stamina
- Difficulty jumping or climbing stairs
Obviously some of these symptoms could mean other problems, so when in doubt, make a visit to your veterinarian.
Contributing factors to a dog’s obesity
It’s important to understand what has brought your dog to this situation so you can correct it:
- Are you over feeding your dog? You may need to make adjustments in how much and how frequently you make food available.
- Letting your dog eat “at will” is not only unnatural but unhealthy.
- Measure the food you give him to get the exact amount he should have.
- Are you feeding your dog nutritious food or are you buying the inexpensive brand from the grocery store?
- Beware of table scraps…people food can be a big contributor to weight gain, and so can too many treats.
- Are you making sure your dog is getting enough activity and exercise in his life…if you’re a couch potato, it’s a good chance your dog is too. Get up, get moving together.
- As dogs age, their metabolism slows down, so keeping your dog as active as possible throughout their life is very important.
- Does your dog have any medical problems that aren’t being dealt with that could be a contributing factor?
If you love your “best friend”, and we know you do, pay attention to his/her weight and help them stay in good physical health. If you’re not sure how to put your dog on a healthy diet, contact your veterinarian who can help you with a diet management plan.
For all your doggie daycare needs, Contact BowWow Fun Towne, you’ll find plenty of great activity and exercise here to help keep your dog nice and trim.