Friday, June 25, 2010

Is Your Dog Overweight?

Should your dog lose a few?
A dog’s weight at age 1 to 2 years is considered ideal, in most cases. If you aren’t sure, here are some signs of excess fat that may make you want to consult your veterinarian and cut down on calories:
• Ribs that are hard to feel or covered by a lot of flesh.
• Fat on the lower back or base of the tail.
• No waist, or very slight one, when viewing from above.
• Thickened trunk near the hind legs.
• Trouble getting comfortable, not sleeping for long periods before moving.
• Playing less and getting tired more.
• Drinking lots of water and general lethargy.
• Has difficulty jumping on furniture or climbing stairs.
• Stiff when walking, pants more than usual.

Source: Canine Wellness Centre

Weight Loss Tips
Start with a visit to your veterinarian, to rule out health issues and have your pet’s doctor involved.
Don’t provide an unlimited supply of food. Feed measured amounts at designated times.
Know how many calories your pet should have each day, at each life stage, and set a daily limit.
Use a low-cal food that’s high in fibre.
Say no to table scraps.
Give healthy treats, such as homemade sweet potato chips, green beans, baked chicken pieces or commercial low-calorie cookies.
Remember, size doesn’t matter — it’s all about the smell — and, for some breeds, it will never seem like enough anyway. Don’t be fooled by that. Break large treats into pieces.
Take a minimum 30-minute walk around the neighbourhood at least once a day, walking a regular pace for five minutes, speed walking for 30 seconds, then slowing down for another five minutes. Use a stopwatch and keep alternating.
Swimming is the best exercise and easy on the joints.
Play fetch with a ball or toy.
Hide toys around the house for your dog to find.
Use praise, attention and exercise as rewards, not treats.
Set realistic expectations and commit to the long haul and a new, healthier lifestyle.
Source: Canine Wellness Centre

2 comments:

  1. Who the hell makes their dog that overweight? And I do mean MAKES. Unreal. Obesity is a dire health concern for your companions. You, yourself, are digging them their early grave.

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  2. If your pet is overweight and you'd like to get them into shape, a national Canadian television show is looking to help! Email pets@marilyn.ca w/ a picture.

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