If it is often said that dogs look like their owners, should we be surprised that approximately half of the dogs in the United States are obese? In fact, research from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention indicates that a whopping 53% of dogs are obese. And the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that 40% of dogs are overweight. However you slice it, about half the dogs in America are overweight—yikes! And, obesity leads to other ailments that shorten the life of your dog, so take notice if your dog has become a bit rotund.
What’s more interesting is that only 17% of dog owners believe their dogs are overweight, compared to 47% of veterinarians who believe the dogs they care for are obese. There seems to be a disconnect between perception and reality, or perhaps many of us are simply living in denial.
If your dog’s jeans are getting a bit too tight, it’s not too late to extend his or her life by curtailing their obesity and putting them on the road to a more healthy and fit future.
It should be no surprise that feeding habits and a lack of exercise are the primary culprits in your dog’s “fluffy” condition. Start by feeding your dog the best dog food, high quality foods like ORIJEN dog food or ACANA dog food, rather than dog foods packed with carbohydrates and fillers with little to no nutritional value. And keep the high calorie treats and scraps from the table to a minimum.
This might be news to some of you, but the best weapon with which to fight canine obesity is a measuring cup! Most of the best dog foods like ORIJEN dog food and ACANA dog food provide feeding guidelines based on the size of your dog. Learn them and see how your dog does living within these guidelines. If you feed your dog the best dog food, high quality natural dog food like ORIJEN dog food or ACANA dog food, your dog needs less of it to feel full and satisfied, because the best dog foods are so packed with nutritional goodness and flavor.
Let’s be honest, we can all use a bit more exercise, so put your walking shoes on and make sure your dog is burning more calories than he or she is consuming. There’s no mystery here, just put your walking shoes on, grab the leash, and get your candy-ass out the door. Not only is it great for your dog’s health, but after a long hard day of laying around the house, your dog just loves to get out and stretch the legs through the neighborhood.
Another factor that contributes to canine obesity is neutering, which could slow metabolism and add a few pounds. So, be sure to adjust your dog’s feeding if you notice he or she is becoming overweight after being neutered.
Additionally, dogs’ metabolism does begin to slow down with age, typically by age 5 or 6, so be vigilant to adjust the feeding accordingly as they age.
Also, some breeds are more predisposed to gaining weight than others, like Labradors, basset hounds, beagles, shelties, golden retrievers, collies, cocker spaniels, and dachshunds.
And lastly, dogs can become obese because of hormonal disorders, which range from hypothyroidism to hyperadrenocorticism.
If you think your dog is getting a bit corpulent, you should have your veterinarian provide you with a professional assessment and get your dog on the road to recovery, which may involve a better diet and exercise.
If you really love your dog, do everything you can to prevent obesity, because an overweight dog is at an increased risk of life shortening ailments, including heart disease, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, dermatological problems, compromised immune issues, heat intolerance, and many more.
Make a commitment today; no more corn dogs for you or your dog, just high quality, natural dog food like ORIJEN dog food or ACANA dog food, and plenty of exercise for both of you.