Tipping the Scale
How to help stop the pet obesity epidemic.
Does Fido need to lose a few pounds?
It can be very tough when you realise your dog is overweight. Sometimes we don’t even know that they have a few extra pounds. Pet obesity is a very serious issue in our world that can lead to many different health issues. According to a study done by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) in 2018, 56% of dogs were considered overweight or obese!
Obesity in pets can cause lasting harm to animals and even shorten their lifespan. Here are a few potential problems that can arise from pet obesity:
- Early arthritis
- Joint disease
- Liver disease
So, what can we do about it?
Check to see if your dog is overweight
The first step to helping your dog with a potential weight issue is to see if they even have a weight issue. There are a couple of different ways to tell if your dog is overweight, but the best thing would be to ask your dogs veterinarian what they think.
The APOP has a webpage with several tools and tips to help check your pets weight and see if they might be overweight. One of these tools is the chart we have posted below. If you follow the chart’s guidelines you will have a rough idea of if your dog is overweight or not. As we said before, make sure to speak with the veterinarian to confirm the details.
Tips to help your dog lose weight
Getting a dog to lose weight is very similar to how we humans work to lose weight; diet and exercise.
As far as diet goes, make sure you aren’t over feeding your dog. Sometimes when switching your dog’s food, you don’t realize they shouldn’t eat as much of the new one. Always check the feeding instructions specific to your pets food. You should definitely consult with your dog’s veterinarian about your dog’s diet and what can be changed.
Exercise is almost as important as changing their diet. If your dog is more of a couch potato, maybe just start with brisk walks around the neighborhood. If they can handle that and still need a bit more work, try taking them out into the yard for some fetch or tug-of-war with a rope toy!
APOP has some resources on their website regarding pet weight loss, check them out by clicking the button.
Looking for healthy dog snacks?
Need to work with your dog on losing weight?
Vegetables, like green beans or brussels sprouts, are a great snack for your dog that are low in calories but very filling.
Check out our blog post about foods your dog shouldn’t eat. It also includes a whole section about healthy snacks they CAN eat! Make sure to look into the veggies, those will be better to help fight against obesity as they typically contain less sugar than the fruits.
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