Fat Dogs: Control Your Dog's Weight for a Healthier, Longer Life
Obesity is not just a growing problem for the human
population, overweight dogs--just plain fat dogs--is becoming
Obesity is a common nutritional disorder in dogs. Just
like people, dogs can get fat through over feeding and insufficient exercise.
Even if you think you are only
giving your dog a small amount of food per day, if you dog is getting
insufficient exercise relative to the amount of food intake, he can still
gain weight. Over time, he can and will get fat.
Fat dogs are not healthy dogs. Overweight dogs
tend to develop health problems such as diabetes, and excess weight can
aggravate conditions such as arthritis, which often develops in middle
aged and elderly dogs. To put it in perspective, an extra five pounds
on a 15 pound dog is equivalent to an extra 50 pounds on a 150-pound person.
How You Can Prevent Your Dog from Becoming Fat
Fortunately, there are some weight control measures
you can take to help prevent your dog from getting fat.
- If you practice "free feeding" (leaving
dry dog food available 24/7), STOP. If your dog hasn't eaten his food
within about 15 minutes, remove his dish.
- Reduce your dog's between meal snacks and treats.
Dog treats are often high in fat and calories and some treats like biscuits
and dog cookies are heavy in low fiber carbs.
- Exercise your dog regularly. Ideally, you
should give your dog a brisk walk for at least 20 minutes twice a day.
This is as good for you as for your dog in helping to maintain a healthy
weight for both of you.
- If you have an overweight dog, talk to your vet
about finding the optimum calorie intake for him.
- Consider switching to a low fat dog food and
giving him low fat dog treats.