Fat Dogs Are An Epidemic in the U.S. Start Today to Keep Your Pet Healthy. Here's How.
My dog lives to eat. He never seems to get enough and constantly begs. I chalk it up to his early life on the streets and have to closely monitor his food intake.
Fat dogs are no laughing matter because they come with a host of health issues.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
estimates 35% of the 78 million dogs in the U.S. are overweight.
Millions are spent every year on health concerns of fat dogs. They get diabetes, digestive problems and skin and hair problems.
A Yard Isn’t Enough
Just like people, dogs need exercise.
They need the fresh air and opportunity to sniff –well, pretty much everything out there. One way to keep both of you healthy is to make sure you take a minimum of a 30 minute walk everyday.
Walking is a socialization opportunity for your dog and offers more stimulation than your yard. Or, if you live in the country, they appreciate the opportunity to chase squirrels in the woods and “be a dog”.
How Much are You Feeding?
It’s easy to overfeed your dog.
If you feed treats between meals it’s the same thing as snacking between meals for you.
One solution is to cut back on the amount of food you’re feeding Max at meal time.
For example, let's say you’ve fed Max 3 homemade treats so far today plus a few baby carrots.
He had a short walk but otherwise has been lolling around in the sun.
You have two choices, get him moving – play ball or hide and seek or cut back on his meal.
No One Size Fits All Strategy
There are many variations in dog’s caloric needs. How much they need depends on their breed/size/age and activity level.
It can be difficult to know exactly how much you should be feeding. The best thing to do is consult with your veterinarian to know what the optimum weight is for your dog.
How do you know if he’s overweight?
Unless your dog is noticeably fat, it can be hard to tell.
However, you should be able to see your pet’s waist. There should be an indentation around the rib area. This is easiest to see if you stand over him and look down.
Don’t let your pet be one of the fat dogs statistics.
Exercise, cut back on treats/food if necessary and consider a high quality supplement to get your pet on the path to good health.