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Is Your Dog Overweight?

Like their human counterparts in the US, many dogs are overweight. They are not to blame for their extra pounds; their owners are. Pets suffer from shortness of breath just like humans.

When fat envelopes their heart and makes it harder to pump the oxygen filled blood through their lungs and the rest of their body, they can't get enough air. The dog owner may notice that in the form of their lying down and panting hard.

A sedentary lifestyle is another contraindication for a dog's life. Dogs should be active, so long as they are not seniors or invalids. They should be out running and catching balls, getting their daily exercise.

How Do You Know Your Dog Is Overweight?

There are actually several ways to determine if your dog is carrying too much weight or not. One is purely by visual inspection. Look at him from the side. Be honest with yourself. Is your dog overweight? If his belly is hanging just a bit lower than it used to, he is probably overweight. If he has no waist left, no tapering from chest to hips, then he is probably overweight.

If you haven't felt a rib on him in some time, then he is overweight. With long-haired dogs it is a little harder to determine if he is overweight just by inspection. The short haired four-leggers, however have it all at public display.

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What Are The Dangers Of Obesity For Dogs

In this respect, dogs are pretty much like people. The same kind of health problems plagues them as they do humans, when it comes to obesity. Fat builds around their internal organs and may in time cause damage to them. Heart disease is one of the diseases that can be due to obesity. Diabetes in dogs is another disease that runs parallel to human diabetes from obesity.

Additionally, osteoarthritis is a painful joint disease that afflicts dogs, mainly the larger breeds, by being overweight. If we love our dogs and want to keep them for as long as possible, we have to reduce their fat intake and increase their exercise.

How Do We Initiate Weight Loss In Our Dogs?

We start gently. It isn't fair to withhold more than just a little bit of food with each feeding. They didn't gain all their weight at one time. It would be unreasonable to expect them to lose it all at once. Besides, that would be an unhealthy way to lose weight.

One way of getting them to shed a few pounds within a couple of months is by first mixing their regular dog food with a reduced fat dog food. Once they are used to the mix, the next time you refill the dog food, do three quarters of the low fat dog food and one quarter of the regular food. You can do these mixes in small increments.

They will be hungry at the next feeding and eat their mixed food. If there is any way possible you should also increase your dog’s activity with a daily walk. Start with a short walk at first, then increase the distance, little by little. Pretty soon, if someone asks, "Is your dog overweight?" you can proudly answer, "not anymore."

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