Let’s face it, we love our dogs, they’re family. Sometimes that love can lead pet owners to pamper their pets just a little too much when it comes to food and treats. This over indulgence has the same effects on our pets as it does on us when we over eat or snack a little too often, we get fat. If you add in not getting enough exercise, then it is a problem compounded.
Fat Dog or Husky Hound?
As an owner of a Dachsund, I know first hand how good it makes your pet feel to get those special treats, and how hard it is to not give them when it results in getting the loving look that only your dog can give. I also know as a dog owner that this particular breed needs a lot of regular exercise. Dogs in general are very athletic and energetic by their very nature, and if they do not get enough exercise they are not happy. The dog also runs the risk of being overweight, which puts him at risk.
Yes, pets too can suffer from being obese. Statistics show that one in four pets weigh in the overweight or obese category. It is a problem which carries a lot of health risks to our four legged loved ones, and it is a problem that we as owners must handle
I realize that some dog owners would ask, “What’s the worst that a little weight could do?” Well the answer is that a little weight would do no harm, but if left unchecked the weight gain could quickly put your pet into the obese category. Some of the common ailments brought on by canine obesity are heart problems, arthritis and even diabetes. An overweight dog is also more susceptible to a hip condition known as hip dysplasia, as well as problems with the back and joints.
By now you’re probably glancing over to your dog to gauge if your pet is within acceptable weight limits. Glancing isn’t going to give you an accurate answer, but if you’d like to do a quick home pet obesity test, then here’s how to do it:
- Have your dog to stand in front of you, and look at him from above. The dog should have an hour-glass shape
- You should also be able to feel your dog’s ribs easily
- Bring up your concern at your next vet visit
Keep regular vet appointments for your dogs, your veterinarian will also be checking your pet’s weight upon check-in. The vet will also advise you on how you can get your pet back into optimum shape should he weigh in a bit too much. Whether it’s a reduction in treats, reduction in the amount of food or feeding times, plus getting your dog out for a walk to get more exercise.