Dogs carrying extra weight can be plagued with a myriad of health problems including diabetes, joint complications such as hip dysplasia and arthritis, heart disease, increased blood pressure and increased risk of cancer. According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention [APOP], 54% of the nation’s dogs and cats are overweight. A test to determine if your pet is overweight is to focus on the rib cage. Ideally, you should be able to feel the ribs but not see them. There ought to be a thin cushion over the ribs so you’re not visibly seeing each rib but when you put your hands on the rib cage, you can feel the ribs. Run your hands further down the body, stopping at the hip bones. At a healthy weight you will feel a “dip” or “waistline” between where the ribs stop and the hips begin. Then place your hand on the underside of the ribcage and run your hand along the underside of the body into the groin area. You want there to be a “tuck-up” past where the ribcage ends and the groin begins.
You may want to consider switching your dog’s diet from kibble to raw food or speak to your veterinarian about a top quality diet pet food. However, most dogs aren’t overweight due to their regular food intake but because of all the treats they are given between meals. You, as the owner, may be killing your dog with kindness. Resist giving into your dog’s soulful, begging eyes. It’s very important to cut back on the treats or switch treats to something with no filler and a good source of protein, like dehydrated meat or salmon bits. Try single ingredient treats such as sweet potato or functional treats that also keep teeth clean or promote mobility. You might offer baby carrots, green beans, cucumber or sliced apples too.
Exercise is vitally important. If you are short on time and can’t exercise your dog yourself, consider hiring a dog walker or dropping your pooch off at a doggie daycare where he or she can romp around for a few hours and burn off some of those extra calories. Adding fats to your dog’s diet is a simple way to lose those extra pounds. You will be amazed at how adding as little as a quarter teaspoon per day of a high quality fish oil such as Bulletpooch Salmon Oil onto your dog’s food can help with weight reduction and maintaining a healthy weight. Theoretically speaking, if your dog is getting all of the good fats it needs in its diet [omega-3s], then it won’t store fat and will actually start burning off that stored fat.
If all of that fails and your pet is still not losing weight, then perhaps there is a medical issue that needs to be addressed. Time to book a veterinarian appointment and ask to have your pet checked for low thyroid level or a hormone imbalance. Be patient. Aim for gradual weight loss. It’s taken a long time for your pet to get like this. Don’t expect it to lose the weight over night. Ideally, fat loss of 1 or 2% of its body weight a month is great. Once you’ve seen results, stick with it. Get the whole family onboard. Feel good about adding health and longevity to the life of your beloved pet. For more visit www.bulletpooch.com .