Is my Dog Fat?

Did you know that over half of America’s dogs are overweight or obese?  Obesity leads to health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and an increased risk of cancer.  It can also affect hair and skin health, immunity, breathing, and stamina.  If your dog is overweight, he needs to shed some pounds in order to avoid these.

How can I Tell if my Dog is Overweight?

Rub your fingers along your dog’s ribs.  Can you feel them?  If not, your dog is overweight.  For a healthy dog, there should be a nice, small padding of fat, but you should always be able to feel his ribs.

How can my Dog Lose Weight?

First of all, consult your veterinarian.  Ask him about a shortening or even change in diet.  You might be feeding your dog too much or need to switch over to a less fattening dog food.  Also, ask him about developing an exercise routine.  An overweight dog cannot handle a mile hike, nor should he be only given only a short walk around the yard.  You vet will tell you where to start and how to up the difficultly.

Cut out the Unhealthy Treats

People love to give dogs treats.  Unfortunately, many of these treats are very unhealthy.  Table scraps should never be fed to your dog; his stomach cannot handle them, and they are probably high in calories, fat, and salt.  Also, avoid store bought treats which are high in fat and calories.  Opt for some healthy treats: carrots, apples, blueberries, bananas pumpkin, etc.  (Never feed your dog anything with seeds as they could choke him.  Also, avoid grapes and onions as they are toxic to dogs.)  Remember, however, that there can be too much of a good thing.  Always feed healthy treats in small amounts.  Also, for however many treats you give, cut that out of the amount of food your dog should have that day.