The statistics are startling; 50% of American pets are overweight.
Even more alarming is that most owners don't realize their pets are overweight.
Obesity in dogs means 20% over their ideal weight or 2 pounds for a 10 pound dog. Like in humans, obesity increases the health risks for your pet.
- joint disease and disorders including increased arthritic pain, herniated disc, torn ligaments and liver and kidney problems
- lessened longevity - an ideal weight dog will outlive an obese dog by an average of two years
Some signs to look for to help you determine if your dog is over his ideal weight.
- feel only a thin layer of fat over ribs and spine ( about as much padding as the back of your hand)
- see a tapered waist when you look down on the dogs back
- see and feel an abdominal tuck
Once you have determined that your pet needs to shed a few pounds, putting your pet on a diet doesn't have to be time consuming or difficult.
- - obtain accurate pre-diet weight (and use same scale thereafter)
- Cut all scraps and reduce food by 10% or reduce total intake by 20%
- (put all "treats" for 1 day in a dish and when there gone, no more treats)
- don't let your dog train you (ignore begging)
- increase dogs exercise