Did you know that being just 20% overweight puts a dog at risk for developing many serious health issues? The extra pounds weight on an animal's cardiovascular and respiratory systems exacerbating existing problems and causing new ones.
Obese pets are prone to injury, are more at risk in surgery and predisposed to conditions such has diabetes. Obesity can diminish your pets quality of life.
A dog is considered overweight if it is 5 above its ideal weight. An obese dog is 20% or more above its ideal weight.
For example, if your dog's ideal weight is 50 pounds, a weight of 10 pounds would be a 20% gain, that would make your dog obese. The extra pounds matter! An extra 7 pounds in a dog that normally weights 35 pounds is a very big deal. Its similar to an extra 30 pounds on a person who should weight 150 pounds. Dogs are not so different from people. When they are too heavy, they might not feel as good. Obese dogs may find it more difficult to stand up, greet you at the door, or run and play. By helping your dog lose weight, it can help your dog play a more active part in your life. So when your porky pet pleads with you for an extra treat, remember that saying no may be the kindest response!
Signs that your pet may be overweight:
- ribs cannot easily be felt when running your hand along your dog's side
- loss of obvious waist
- collar needs loosening
- difficulty walking
- slow movement
- sleeping more than usual
Some breeds of dogs are more likely to gain weight such as labrador retrievers, beagles, and cocker spaniels. The same is true of neutered dogs, middle aged dogs and female dogs.
Weight control tips: Measure the food, watch the calories, cut out table scraps and fatty treats, limit treats to low calorie choices (use veggies!), tell your neighbors and friends about your dog's weight loss program, feed each dog by itself, set aside the same time each day to exercise your dog - make it a habit!
4 steps to a healthier adut dog:
1. Track your dogs' weight
2. Include healthy activity
3. Visit your veterinarian often
4. Maintain an ideal weight for life
In a groundbreaking 14-year study by Purina, dogs fed to a lean body condition throughout their lives had a median life span nearly two years longer than overweight dogs and a later onset of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.
It’s never too late to begin the lean-fed diet regimen. A recent study showed osteoarthritic dogs that lost weight through diet and exercise achieved increased mobility.
Ask your veterinarian to help you score your dog’s body condition. After determining your dog’s score, you and your veterinarian can map a route to his ideal body condition and a longer, healthier life.