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Is It Fido's Fault That He's Overweight?

Sorry, but you just can not blame the dog for this one! Unless you have a very smart & very capable pup who can somehow manage to fix himself a bowl of food, you, my friend must take the blame for the extra bulge around your pets’ tummy. A recent study has found that 40% of America’s pets are overweight. They certainly mimic everything that we do, don’t they? Sometimes, that isn't a very good thing.

Ideally, you should be able to feel the ribs easily when pressing on his belly. Press gently now, don’t strangle the poor thing! Sometimes, you do not even have to go through that step; it is more than apparent just by looking at your pooch. They are just like us, too much food and too little exercise results in too much around the middle. And, just as it poses many problems for our health, it poses about the same amount of problems to our dogs’ health. Obesity decreases the life span of your best friend.

Your pet could face potentially life threatening lung, heart, liver or kidney diseases, as well as diabetes or thyroid problems. They are also more prone to injury because of the added stress the extra weight places on their joints.

Have your buddy checked by the veterinarian to see if the thyroid might be contributing to the bigger belly. That way while you have him there you can have the vet give him a full examination to make sure that it’s ONLY extra weight that you need to be concerned about.

Start by feeding your pet a high quality meat- based diet; don’t just buy the store brand because it’s cheaper. Look at the ingredients, MEAT should be the first item listed, not corn or cornmeal. Watch out for the "reduced calorie" foods though, because these diets have very restricted fat levels to reduce the calories but then because of necessity, they have increased the carbohydrate percentages. The increased carbohydrate level stimulates insulin secretion and that in turn makes their body store the calories as fat. That’s not a very good thing when you are trying to help your pup shed some pounds.

Another common sense solution is to cut back on the portions that you feed your pal. I read that a dog can actually live without food for around 5 days, so a few less nuggets certainly shouldn't be a problem for them. I know that it’s tough when they give you that sad little look to NOT throw your pooch a few scraps from the table, or give them a bite of whatever you might be munching on at the time, but they are relying on you to make the decision that is best for them. Try giving baby carrots to your dog as a treat, just because YOU don’t like them doesn't mean that you can’t give them to your pup.

I am sure that your dog would love to spend some quality time with you and either taking them for a walk or playing fetch with them, would please your pet as well as help him become healthier. And let’s face it; a healthy pet makes for not only a happy pet, but a happy pet owner!

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Sunday, 10 December 2023

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