Have you ever wondered if your pet is overweight? About 53% of dogs in the US are overweight and their owners may not even know it.
There are many ways to tell if your pet has some excess weight that he or she could lose.
-You can take your pet to your vet. They will know and be able to tell you what to do if your dog is overweight.
-From home you can stand above your pet looking down. If you cannot see or feel their ribs when touching their sides they are probably overweight. Dogs should have a nice taper at their waist. If they are oval shaped they are too heavy.
-You can go online and search for a body condition scores. This will show you a chart of what your pet should look like when they are at a healthy weight.
Just like humans, dogs can have many health problems if they are overweight. Dogs that have an ideal body weight live 15 percent longer, and with less disease, than overweight dogs.
Some of these health problems could include:
-Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)
-Heart disease and increased blood pressure
-Difficulty breathing and decreased stamina
-Decreased immune function
-Skin and hair coat problems
-Decreased quality and length of life
-and even some cancers
If your dog is overweight here are some suggestions to help get them back in the normal weight range.
-Ask your vet for a diet plan that would be good for your specific breed of dog.
-Go for a brisk walk for 12-15 minutes a day.
-Make sure that your dogs gets 15 minutes of active play time twice a day.
-Measure your dog’s food out; they should not have an unlimited supply of food all day.
-Don’t give into begging. If you have determined how many calories your dog needs each day and measured it out, then don’t give them more.
-Reward your dog with play time or a new toy, rather than treats. Try and keep treats to a minimum.
Results will not happen overnight, but if you follow these tips and suggestions you will start to see improvement in your dog’s weight.
photo credit: Obese canine from New Orleans via photopin (license)
photo credit: I know I shouldn’t eat this, but… via photopin (license)
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