Dog obesity has become a serious health issue that is affecting all breeds of dog around the world. According to research, the numbers reach as high as 44% of all dogs are now obese or overweight and with these numbers, we can no longer afford to ignore the problem of dog obesity in our culture.
The good news is that dog obesity is completely preventable and it’s also treatable for those dogs who have already succumbed to its grasp. As with humans, the problem of dog obesity often lies in a lack of education and sometimes neglect. So if you are willing to learn and put the effort it requires in to achieving results, you can give your dog the gift of life long health and a quality lifestyle.
So where do you begin when attempting to conquer dog obesity? It’s first important to assess the condition of your dog and evaluate the level of obesity in your dog. You should know that there is more to judging a dog’s level of obesity that just how much they weigh. Although this can be used as a tool, it just isn’t accurate enough to determine each and every dog’s obesity status.
To start with, each dog is a unique individual even though they are part of a specific breed. Just as humans, they have unique qualities in size, color, shape etc. so no two are exactly the same. This is why a simple measurement of weight cannot determine whether or not your dog is obese.
The first thing you should determine is if your dog needs to be on a doggie diet. You will want to check to see if you can feel your dog’s waist, rib bones and tail bones. If you are having difficulty feeling these then it’s likely your dog needs to lose a few pounds.
You should also try viewing your dog from different angles such as from the side. From this angle there should be a definite differentiation between the waist and right behind our dog’s ribs. In other words, your dog’s stomach should not be hanging way down making it hang even with the ribs, it should be tucked up nice and tight.
Another factor in a dog being obese is the affect it has on their overall health. When your dog is carrying around extra weight, it weakens their body such as their joints and cartilage which can lead to injuries. It also causes stress on their organs like their heart which can lead to serious complications if they have to have surgery and in every day life the heart has to work harder just to pump blood out to the body. It also increased other heart risks for your dog.
Perhaps the most problematic issue is that the heart simply has to work that much harder to pump blood to all parts of an obese dog’s body, and as such congestive heart failure is that much more likely. The obesity can lead to other serious health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, endocrine diseases and eventually death.
Once you have determined the condition and obesity level of your dog, it’s time to discover the reason your dog is overweight. Generally that reason is very simple, it comes down to the dog is eating more than they need and they are not getting enough exercise. It’s most likely unintentional and the result of an uneducated pet parent that’s the cause of a bad dog diet.
Many of us today love to spoil our precious pooches and that often means we treat our dogs to too many treats and too much food. To correct this, it’s important to purchase quality dog food and read the label information. This will give you a general idea of how much you should be feeding your dog but you will need to take into account you and your dog’s lifestyle, activity level, exercise, age and health.
Again, you need to remember, it’s not one size fits all and the instructions should be thought of as a guideline and you can always get more information for your veterinarian. It’s absolutely your responsibility as a pet parent to control your dog’s diet and make sure that dog obesity doesn’t become a problem. By offering your dog a healthy diet, you are giving them a long and healthy, quality life.
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