Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dogs today are overeating

Dogs today are overeating

Obesity is the number 1 health threat to dogs today. 53% of dogs are overweight. When your dog is overweight, it puts a strain on their hearts and lungs.

The main causes of weight gain in dogs are the same as in humans; too much food and not enough exercise. Long hours sitting at work or in front of the TV aren't just bad to your own fitness, it is bad for your dog's as well. It means that your dog gets fewer and shorter walks and less active playtime. Too many dog parents think the way to show love is to feed their dog. Dogs are like children. Your time and your attention mean a heck of a lot more to them than food, money and material things.

How can you tell if your dog is overweight?

* Gently press your dog's chest with your hands and feel for their ribs. You should be able to detect them without exerting too much pressure.
* while your dog is standing, look down on them from above. You should be able to see a distinct waistline below their rib cage.

If you feel that your dog is overweight, here is how you can cut back their diet:

* Take stock of their daily food intake including treats. Cut down on that amount by 25%
* Choose foods that are high in protein and low in fat. 25 to 30% of protein is best.
* Rewarding your dog's good behavior with one or two treats a day is fine, but consider leaner options such as produce (like chicken or sweet potato) that is sold in pet stores.

The best way to help your overweight dog lose some weight though is to take some and exercise with them and have playtime. This benefits both you and your dog.