10 Ways to Fight Dog Obesity!
Since the beginning of time (or at least since the beginning of fast food), people have made lose weight/eat better/work out one of their New Years resolutions.
I’m thinkin’ it’s time we add “Help my dog lose weight” to the list–I mean, have you SEEN how fat some of these poorÂ pooches walking around are?? Well, maybe you haven’t, because they probably are walking very much by the looks of them.
Here are some ways to tell if you’re dog is overweight, followed by some ways to help fight the fat, courtesy of the ASPCA:
1. Once a pet is obese, he may remain obese even after excessive caloric intake stops. The majority of cases of obesity are related to simple overfeeding coupled with lack of exercise.
2. Certain groups of dogs appear more prone to obesity than others. Specific breeds (Labrador retrievers and pugs, for example) and older dogs are particularly prone.
3. As a subjective assessment of body condition, you should be able to feel the backbone and palpate the ribs in an animal of healthy weight. If you cannot feel your petâ€™s ribs without pressing, there is too much fat.
4. Also, you should see a noticeable “waist” between the back of the rib cage and the hips when looking at your pet from above. Viewed from the side, there should be a “tuck” in the tummyâ€”the abdomen should go up from the bottom of the rib cage to inside the thighs. Dogs who fail these simple tests may be overweight.
5. Correct Diet. Overweight animals consume more calories than they require. Work with your veterinarian to determine your petâ€™s caloric requirements, select a suitable food and calculate how much to feed. The diet should contain a normal level of a moderately fermentable fiber and the type of fat that prevents the skin and coat from deteriorating during weight loss. Diets that dilute calories with high fiber lead to increased stool volumes, frequent urges to defecate and variable decreases in nutrient digestibility.
6. Exercise. Increasing physical activity can be a valuable contributor to both weight loss and maintenance. Regular exercise burns more calories, reduces appetite, changes body composition and will increase your petâ€™s resting metabolic rate.
7. Owner Behavior Modification. A successful weight management program requires permanent changes in the behaviors that have allowed the pet to become overweight. Perhaps you are giving your pet too many treats, for example, or not giving him enough opportunities to exercise.
8. As an alternative to “bonding through treating,” make sure to provide your dog with non-food related attention and stimulation.
9. Feed your dog several small meals throughout the day.
10. It’s easy to fall for “begface” at the dinner table and tossing your dog table scraps. Instead, try removing your dog from the room when the family eats.