Like humans, one of the greatest dog health problems today is obesity. Numerous owners think their overweight dogs are adorable, when in fact they are exceptionally unhealthy. Overweight dogs can develop the identical kinds of problems that overweight humans can, such as diabetes mellitus, which can be extremely difficult to treat. Obesity can also shorten your dog's life expectancy.
If you are not sure if your dog is overweight, there is a very easy way to tell visually and by touch. A dog of normal weight and no dog health problems should have an impression at his waistline, and his ribs should be easily felt under his skin. An overweight dog will not possess a waistline and there will be a thicker layer of fat above his ribs.
There are many factors that can contribute to obesity in dogs. Among these are overfeeding, not sufficient exercise, dog health problems such as hyperthyroidism or hyperadrenocorticism, age, gender, and breed. If your dog is overweight, the first thing you should do is have your veterinarian do a full examination. This will help rule out any underlying dog health problems.
If no health conditions are present, the next thing you should look at is the quality and quantity of food you are feeding your dog. Many store brand and generic foods do not have the proper nutrients required to keep your dog fit and healthy and can contribute to dog health problems. If your dog is overweight, you will want to select a good quality dog food specifically designed to be low in calories.
Many prescription and over the counter diets are obtainable. Talk with your veterinary staff to help determine which dog food is correct for your dog. If you will be switching to a new food, you will need to do this gradually, over the period of around a week. This will help reduce digestive problems like vomiting and loose stools. Feed your dog the amount that the label or your veterinarian recommends.
While your dog is losing weight, you should cut out all treats. Many people feed their dogs the suitable amount of food, but do not realize how high in calories many treats are. Control treats and how many you are giving your dog. You may be amazed to find out that his caloric intake of treats is greater than that in his food.
If you have to feed your dog treats while he is dieting, choose healthy snacks like carrots or a low calorie manufactured treat. You should also never feed your dog leftovers. Not only is this unhealthy for dogs, it can lead to unwanted behaviors such as begging. In general, your leftovers do not have the proper balance of nutrients that dogs need and are often higher in fat and calories and can cause more dog health problems.
Proper nutrition is not the only factor in reducing weight in dogs. You have to provide them with appropriate amounts of exercise. Many individuals do not understand that dogs require an awful lot of exercise to maintain proper health.
If your dog is overweight, you will want to go for at least one walk in the morning and the evening for up to 30 minutes each time, depending on the proportions of your dog. Dog parks are an excellent place for both you and your dog to get exercise. Sign up for a class like agility or flyball to help keep your dog energetic. Play lots of games like fetch and Frisbee. You have to be an active partner in helping your dog reduce his weight.
Weight loss in dogs should be very gradual. Dogs should only lose between one and two percent of their overall weight per week. You should weigh your dog on a regular basis to keep track of his weight and to check your progress.
Many dog health problems are caused by overeating and inactivity. By following the feeding guidelines set by your veterinarian, reducing the amount of treats given, and increasing the amount of exercise and action your dog gets, you can help your dog lose weight and become the healthy dog you want him to be.
Have You Ever Been Faced With an ILL and DISTRESSED Pet and Simply NOT KNOWN WHAT YOU CAN DO to Help?