Fat dog! Seeing an overweight pup rolling around the floor might seem like something out of a comic strip, but it’s not funny in the long run and happens more often than you might think. Pet obesity is becoming more of a problem as owners often disregard the thought of their pup’s overeating habits. Like humans, pups too can store that extra weight, and like humans it can lead to heart and health problems. As the owner and guardian of your pets, you need to ensure their health and happiness.
How do I know if my pup is overweight?
So how do you determine if your canine companion has put on one too many pounds? There are charts available online that reference breed with size to estimate healthy weight levels. All you need is the Internet and a scale. Fortunately, a trip to the vet will usually reveal such problems as the doggy doc knows your pup’s history and most everything about them.
With some pups that suffer from extreme weight problems, wheezing and difficulty moving around are common, especially as fluids build up around their heart and lungs. High cholesterol levels and lack of exercise can cause fluid retention and can lead to heart problems in dogs.
What your pup eats affects their health and how they feel. Check your pup’s food for cholesterol and calorie intake. Pups with an active lifestyle will need more calories for energy, but if your dog is more laid back, often senior pups, you need to find a dog food with reduced calories.
There is also the option of cutting your pup’s food with a “lite” dog food. Changing your pup’s dog food can sometimes be tricky, so you should consider mixing both old and new foods until they feel comfortable eating the new diet.
There is also the matter of unhealthy diets- such as large amounts of human food. Bacon, steak, and even potato chips are quite delicious for humans, but are high sources of cholesterol and calories. It is best to try to avoid treating your pup with these items.
Plenty of exercise
So ask yourself, how often do you walk your pup? How about actively play with them in the yard? Exercise is as important for them as it is for us. Daily walks aren’t just for potty time, it is for bonding and exercise too.
Something to remember is that if your pup is already suffering from excessive weight problems, you’ll need to start them off slowly at first and work them back to a healthy lifestyle. If you take your pup for a five mile run right after discovering they’re out of shape, they’ll keep up with you because that’s what dogs do. But it isn’t good for their body and heart, especially to reintroduce them to high levels of fitness suddenly.
Playtime as a treat
That little bag of incentives you keep high on the counter so that your pup doesn’t get into it, isn’t always the answer to a good deed. Though there are healthy treats you can pick up, and even some offer protection for their teeth, you can also use to playtime as a treat. When they’ve been good, interact with them and show them some love. They’ll get exercise, attention, and a treat.