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Do I Look Fat In This? Part 2
Obesity among canines has continues to rise over the past few decades. Statistics indicate it has become a serious issue throughout North America. People who love and respect their canine companions need to consider how best to reduce this weighty problem. This is particularly true for those who are the proud owners of certain food obsessed or genetically predisposed canines.
Some breeds are more prone to packing on the pounds than others are. The list is quite an extensive one and consists of the following breeds:
· Basset Hound
· Bichon Frise
· Cairn Terrier
· Cocker Spaniel
· English Bulldog
· English Springer Spaniel
· Golden Retriever
· Great Dane
· Labrador Retriever: genetically predisposed and also very fond of eating just about anything that he or she comes across
· Miniature Poodle
· Miniature Schnauzer
· St. Bernard
· Shetland Sheepdog (Shelties)
· Shih Tzu
· Welsh Corgi
With these breeds, you often need to be more vigilant because since they also are noted to be at risk for such hip and joint problems as dysplasia. Adding any extra weight will increase the chances of them developing the problem.
If your dog is a senior, it is also important to watch how much and what they eat. A slower metabolism is more likely to put on weight easier than a younger canine.
Signs of an Overweight Dog
According to veterinarians, your dog has an ideal weight. He or she should not surpass it by more than 20%. It is not difficult to discover the perfect weight of your canine. Check the internet, look in a breed book or simply ask your vet. You can also rely on certain tactile and visual guides to help you determine if Gerard is truly overweight. Consider the following:
· Are you unable to distinguish one rib from another when running your hands across and through his or her coat?
· Do you notice fat deposits on the lower back and tail?
· No matter how you look at your dog, no matter what angle – up, down, from either side, he or she does not appear to have anything you can remotely call a waist.
· Faced with stairs, your dog asks for help in climbing up them – and he or she does not have small or stubby little legs
· Does it seem difficult for your dog to do what he may not be allowed to do but does anyways e.g. jump on the furniture?
· What was once great fun – chasing a ball, running around chasing a bal or his or her tail or anything else is not so much anymore. In fact, Gerard shows little or no interest in his favorite games anymore.
What To Do
It is too easy to say: “Put him or her on a diet.” This is never the complete answer. Decreasing even the caloric intake will not cause your dog to lose sufficient amounts of weight. An efficient and effective weight loss program involves a combination of diet and exercise. Consult your veterinarian about what food and exercise is right for your dog at their current weight. You will need to stick firm to the food and the recommended amounts. You will have to restrict treats and even replace them with more healthy and less fattening ones.
Put yourself on a diet program along with your dog. Misery loves company and it will be much easier to refuse him or her special treats. If you cannot have them, neither can your dog.
Obesity is a growing worry among dogs. A fat dog is never the same as a healthy dog. Be vigilant and pet savvy. Know the ideal weight of your dog. Make sure that whatever your choice of dog diet, that your dog is healthy and in perfect shape. Daily exercise combined with perfect nutrition goes a long way towards you and your dog developing and maintaining a healthy life style that will reward you with a longer lifetime together.