Corpulent Canines – Does Your Dog Need To Lose Weight?

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Is your dog overweight? Could he stand to shed a few pounds? Many owners don’t really know when their canine friends are overweight. Since we see them every day, we may not really notice the changes that they may be going through.  Veterinary nutritionists generally agree that 25 to 40 percent of pet dogs in the United States are overweight (defined as more than 20 percent heavier than their ideal weight). As with people, the more excess weight a dog has, the higher the health risk. Some of these risks include diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, Cushing’s disease, spinal degradation and difficulty breathing.

 

Is your pooch pudgy?

Is your pooch pudgy?

How can you tell if your dog is overweight? There are some very basic observations you can make. When standing over your dog do you see an hourglass shape? If so, then he probably doesn’t have a weight problem. However, if you see his sides protruding, then it’s likely that your dog needs to lose some weight. You can also run your hand over your dog’s ribs. If you can feel them easily under a thin layer of skin and fat, then he is probably okay. If not, then some changes are in order.

 

It’s always best to take your dog to your veterinarian before making any significant changes to his diet. Consult with the vet so that you can make sure that your diet plan will still include nutrients the dog may need.

One thing is certain: table scraps and high calorie treats must be eliminated. Taking your dog for daily walks and providing regular play and exercise will help both you and your dog. Swapping high calorie goodies for lower calorie treats isn’t hard to do. A few healthy snacks include carrots, apples, green beans, cottage cheese and broccoli. And yes, in most cases, your dog will eagerly devour them.

Why not make some healthy homemade treats for your pooch? We have a free e-book with 130 recipes that will keep those tails a-waggin’. Simply enter your first name and email address in the form on the right side of this page and we’ll send it right out to you.

Adult dogs, like adult humans, don’t lose weight easily or quickly. When done properly, the weight loss will be gradual.

For puppies, it is essential that you be aware of your pup’s food intake. We all know how hard it is to resist those puppy dog eyes, but, in the long term, it’s one of the best things you can do for your pooch. Experts say that puppies should be fed only dog food that is formulated specifically for puppies, four times a day for approximately three months.Then reduce feedings to three times a day for the next three months. After six months switch to twice a day and then one daily feeding when he is one year old. At that time you should switch to adult dog food, and then monitor his weight on a regular basis.

Dogs who are at the proper weight are happier and more energetic. Human beings are certainly no different. Sometimes we simply fail to pay attention or don’t realize how much impact that our decisions about what we feed out dogs has on their overall health and longevity.

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