With the rise in human obesity it is only natural that mans’ best friend is also racking in the calories and adding to the obesity count. Originally these wild animals would consume the needed food to survive the wilderness and that would be enough. Just by doing the laborious task of finding food burned off enough energy to stay fit and keep away from the obesity level. Changing the canine’s environment though has created a great impact on that natural solution.
Since the turn of time though, these animals have been captured and breed to be domestic animals that feast from store purchased brand foods that may not be the most appropriately suited for the canine body. Yes, store purchased brand foods are making a great effort however it is hard to argue that there is no different between the two diets. If that were not enough, significantly leveraging the weight scale are the owners lifestyles. These inactive lifestyles create a canine to be exposed to lifestyles that furnish poor metabolism, diabetes, thyroid issues, liver disease and the list goes on and on. If your canine already has the above mentioned conditions, it will only worsen if not treated without hesitation.
Is your canine obese?
1. While rubbing the outside of your canine’s side, owners should feel the canine’s ribs. A little fat is fine, however if no ribs are slightly felt, your canine is most likely obese. In addition, your canine should have a definite waist and an indention in the flank area. Consult your veterinarian if there is any question.
2. Weigh your canine to determine the exact weight. Most veterinary offices will allow an owner to bring a canine in for a personal weighing session. There is usually no charge for this service as you are seeing the veterinarian. Then, consult the canine breed’s specifications either from a book, a veterinarian or from the numerous breed websites over the internet. If the canine in question is a mixed breed, consult the veterinarian to determine an appropriate weight range.
Some contributors to the issue:
1. Creation of work-out gyms in larger cities has created a drastic change in owner’s lifestyles. It is becoming less and less common to see a person running outside on the sidewalk than it is to see someone running on a treadmill. Owners that are members of a gym are less likely to take a long walk outside or even a run with canine companions.
2. Lazy owners that have a less than active lifestyle. Canines need a good amount of exercise per day; a walk down the stairs to the food bowl is not enough.
3. “Puppy Buffet” style feeding schedules. Although some canines can handle this style of feeding, most are unable to see food and not devour the entire bowl.
4. Treats galore! Those big brown puppy eyes are hard to say “no” on the treats therefore many canines eat too many treats in one day.
5. Lack of human interaction can cause canines to become stressed and induce unwanted pounds.
6. Some diseases such as hypothyroidism, diabetes or other endocrine disorders can supply your canine with those unwanted pounds. These issues should be diagnosed by a professional veterinarian first before any exercise regime is started.
Some Preventions that can be started:
1. Establish feeding schedules instead of the “puppy buffet” as some busy lifestyles have created. Several scheduled meals a day are more beneficial than one large bowl.
2. Determine the appropriate amount of canine food that is designated for the coordinating weight. Read the back of canine brand food bags, each one is required by the AAFCO and CVM to post all feeding instructions. In addition, read up about how to choose the appropriate brand food and how to understand the food labels on the brand dog food bags.
3. Institute an appropriate amount of food treats that will not provide those tubby pounds. Check out healthy treats that are suggested over associated content for canines.
4. Treat with affection and attention instead of those fattening food treats. Canines feast off attention and affection, therefore what is a better treat than the one thing they desire that is low in calories.
5. Some “diet” or “lite” will assist in helping getting a few pounds off the tubby canine however watch the ingredients the brand food to assure that it really is appropriate “diet” food. Reading and understanding brand food labels will assist in assuring the benefits of the chosen food.
6. Exercise at least twice a day. If a canine is already obese, start slow and do not overdo the exercise in the beginning. Consult a veterinarian for more information on the appropriate amount of exercise that is required for your breed.
7. Yearly checkups with a veterinarian will assure that the canine is proper health and up-to-date on all vaccinations for a healthy lifestyle.
Always remember that the first step in changing a canines’ weight is changing the lifestyle of the owner. A canine does not make itself obese but rather the owner is the agent. It is important to mention for every owner to consult with a professional veterinarian before starting any exercise or diet regime.