Keep your dog lean and happy

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  1. 15 Tips To Improve Your Dog's Diet Today
  2. Weight Loss for Obese Dogs
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If seems like an overweight or obese dog would be obvious to the owner. But that's not always true. Parents tend to underestimate how overweight their kids are , after all. If you notice that your pup is looking a little on the pudgy side, that's usually the first clue. An overweight dog chart, or body condition score BCS chart, can help:. On the 9-point scale, a score of 4 to 5 would be ideal for most breeds, while 3 can be normal in sighthounds Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, etc. One thing to keep in mind is that your vet may not comment on your dog's body condition unless you ask.

5 Awesome Dog Gadgets to Keep Your Dog Happy & Healthy!

Many studies in different regions and countries have attempted to identify the breeds most at risk for becoming obese. Though there were some conflicting results, across all studies, these breeds rose to the top of the list:. There are also breeds which have been documented as having lower metabolism compared to others, including Labs, Corgis, and Newfoundlands. Obese and overweight puppies are particularly sensitive to the effects of excess body fat. In fact, multiple studies suggest that overweight puppies are more prone to what vets call developmental orthopedic diseases, which develop during growth and cause issues in the normal structure of the bones and cartilage within joints.

If you're starting to think, my dog is getting fat and you're not sure why, there are number of possible reasons, from how he's exercised to his genetics to whether or not he's neutered. Let's start with an overview of the risk factors for dog obesity:. Breed or genetics : Some breeds have lower energy needs or may be more genetically predisposed to higher weights.

15 Tips To Improve Your Dog's Diet Today

Accepted official breed standards may contribute to the obesity epidemic too; a European study found that nearly 1 out of 5 show dogs had a BCS over 5. Neutering or spaying : Neutering or spaying can cause weight gain in both males and females. This is most likely related to the influence of sex hormones on appetite, exercise, and perhaps, most important, the loss of lean body mass following the procedure.

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Overfeeding : Calorie-dense dry foods and commercial treats in particular are culprits. Also note, one large daily meal could lead to overfeeding. Go with more frequent meals—and remember that portion-control is essential. Lack of exercise : It's just as important for dogs to get moving daily as it is for humans; and pets who get less exercise require fewer calories than active pets. Sex : Female dogs are more likely to be overweight than male dogs, and prevalence increases after spaying.

Even if a dog has risk factors for obesity, those ultimately affect metabolism, and how many calories a dog needs to eat in a day. But the prevention and treatment of excess weight comes down to diet. It's on the owners to make sure they're feeding their dog the right amount of calories for her needs. Here are the sorts of things that can lead to too many calories:. What most owners think of as regular exercise, like a trip around the block, doesn't really burn a ton of calories.

That's why exercise isn't the only thing to adjust if you're trying to help your dog lose weight or prevent weight gain. You should exercise your dog for a number of reasons , but no matter what, if you feed him excess calories, he's still likely to gain weight. Clearly dogs who exercise less appear predisposed to obesity, and obese and overweight dogs are less active.

It's a classic "what comes first, the chicken or the egg?

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Activity monitors have documented that this is true even during the day, when their owners are away. So some social interaction, whether with you or another dog, does likely impact metabolism. Definitely keep your vet in the loop when starting a weight-loss plan. It's best to get their input on how much your dog should be losing and at what rate, and also find out how to make sure you're maintaining good muscle mass—you want your dog to lose fat, not muscle. Your vet can scan for medical causes that may be behind weight gain too:.

No doubt about it, an overweight or obese dog is bound for health problems— these are the most researched and widely accepted :. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Obesity in animals is a growing problem. About the Author : David Alderton is a million-selling author, with books translated into 25 languages.

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Weight Loss for Obese Dogs

Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Published by Hamlyn If you brought your dog to the beach one summer and he just about lost his mind he loved it so much, make a point to go more next year. Just like with people, exercise is important. Exercise improves their mood, lowers stress, and increases endorphins in your pup, just like it does in you.

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Know when to run to the vet. Removing the hormones prevents diseases. Stress kills. Many diseases are easily preventable.

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