Keeping Your Dog Fit, Not Fat
Posted by Jen Magee on June 30, 2015
An astonishing number of dog owners think their dogs are the perfect weight, when in fact, 53 percent of adult dogs are classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarian. That is a lot of chubby dogs and it is something that can be remedied with more exercise, better diet and fewer treats. But, part of the problem seems to lie in the fact that owners have a hard time determining whether or not their dog IS overweight. Without a large dog scale to use on a daily basis, how does one measure the fit or fat condition of their dogs?
According to veterinary suggestion, you can use a rating system called the "Body Condition Score" to determine if your dog is fat. In a normal-size dog, you should be able to feel a rib cage, feel the spine and feel muscles all along the frame of your dog. If not, your dog may be going down the road to obesity and the following health issues:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Respiratory and heart disease
- Joint problems
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Cancer, particularly abdominal cancers
- Shortened life span
This is scary, isn't it? The good news is, pet obesity can be easily overcome and prevented if you just follow a few basic recommendations.
- Regulate the amount of food AND treats you are feeding your dog daily. Measure or weigh meals to be sure that you are dishing out the correct amount for your dog's size, activity level and nutritional requirements.
- Instead of processed, "big-box" treats and snacks, try some raw veggies or fruit - you may be surprised at what tempts your pup's taste buds.
- Exercise your dog regularly.
Your dog relies on YOU for his/her basic needs, like food and exercise, and it is your job as a responsible dog owner to provide this and to make sure your dog will stay healthy and trim. Speaking for myself, I never realized how sedentary I can be at times until I started wearing a Fitbit - and when I'm sitting working on the computer or on collars for 10-12 hours each day - guess what? Yup. My dogs are snoring away on the studio sofa, and they're usually not complaining about it. So, each day, we make it a point to leash up the pups after lunch and go for a walk, or spend a little time outside being active - good for the body and the mind too!
To help you and your pup maintain an active lifestyle - and look good while doing it, of course - we have a variety of gear available, such as slip lead, martingale walking leash, a double back-up leash or a double walker, - just in case you want to walk two dogs at once. Let us help you with the right equipment so you and your dog can stay fit together - quality time, while burning calories! It's a win-win!