- Pets and Animals
Dog Weight Problems
Dog Weight Problems - Overeating Isn't Just For People Anymore!
This was my Rat Terrier Sonny the day we brought him home from the breeder. At the time, he only weighed a few pounds and holding him in one hand was a breeze. Today, he weighs 35 pounds and I am very hard put to pick him up at all. True, he's still adorable but he definitely has dog weight problems.
The more I look into dog weight problems, the more I realize that I'm not doing Sonny any favors by giving him that extra treat. With this lens, I'm hoping to educate myself and others so that we can help our best friends live a longer, healthier life without all the excess baggage.<
To hear more about Sonny and see more of his pictures, go to Rat Terrier Life Span.
As an update, I just wanted to mention that Sonny now weighs 27 pounds, is much more active and I could not be happier. We have been taking longer walks each day, mixing canned vegtables with smaller amounts of canned dog food, giving him weight-control or lean dry and canned food only, and cutting all his treats into 6 or 7 tiny pieces so he still gets the same number but the calories are very reduced. It has taken approximately 6 months for Sonny to lose 8 pounds and it's been much quicker these last 3 months because of his higher energy level. He could still lose a few more pounds but I no longer have to worry about his weight affecting his health.
We Lost Sonny On September 6, 2013
I just had the excruciatingly painful experience of putting my sweet, wonderful dog, Sonny, to sleep.
When I lost my cat, Sasha, it was horrible but he was 15 and had been losing weight. When he stopped eating and drinking it was just a matter of time - 7 days from Christmas as it turned out. I held him in my arms all of New Year's Eve and he passed at 9 am on New Year's Day 2007.
With Sonny, though, there was absolutely no warning. We dropped him off happy and (we believed) healthy. We had planned to return home on Tuesday September 3 but decided to stay an extra day in visiting our family. We called the kennel to say we'd pick him up on Thursday and they gave no indication that he wasn't doing well. We talked about how much we missed him (and our cats) all the way home and how worried I was about Boris (our cat) because he's 17 years old and is getting a little frail. When we got home we were surprised to find that Boris had used the spare room as his litter box and we spent a very long time cleaning the room up before we brought Sonny home. I had washed all of Sonny's belongings (blanket, toys, harness, etc.) before we left (wish I hadn't because I washed all trace of him from our home) so I simply had to get the cat stuff out of the way and cook an egg white as a welcome home treat. That's when my husband called to say that Sonny had been found unconscious that morning and that we had to transfer him to the emergency animal hospital.
About 30 hours later, we were saying good bye to him forever as the vets gave us no hope at all that he would ever recover. They brought him in to a private room on a quilt with a blanket. We covered him with his own blanket, put his favorite toys around him, placed a bacon treat by his nose and played some soothing music (he really loved music; it always calmed him down). We were with him for about 45 minutes until he was gone and then we went home to grieve.
Here at home, everything reminds us of him and we have to keep tissues on us at all times. The very next day, some of Sonny's best friends, Ziggy, Fanny, Sandy, Dixie, Penny & Leonard had an impromptu doggie wake while their owners (my great neighbors) gave us their condolences. This happened just outside our door and it meant the world to me especially since Fanny's owner had had to put her Rufus to sleep just 3 weeks ago too. The wonderful woman even made a donation to Young Williams Animal Shelter in Sonny's name.
Sonny had developed Diabetes and was getting 18 units of insulin every day. He was eating low-carb dog food mixed with lettuce, a bit of apple and some chicken broth and getting his walks each day. Although we worked hard to keep his weight down, it seems he had some neurological problems of which we were unaware. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things happen that are out of your control. I'm just happy to know that we took good care of him and that he knew just how much we loved him till the very end.
Please take good care of your pets! In some small way, I hope this lens will help you do just that.
What Can I Do For My Dog?
Just like a parent who thinks their child is simply "big-boned", dog owners need to look at their pets critically and make difficult decisions aimed at improving the animal's life and longevity.
There are so many diseases and disorders out there just waiting to attack our wonderful pets; some which you may not even have considered. Here, you'll find articles that explain some dog weight problems and also their simple solutions.
Dog Weight Guide
If you're wondering what your dog should really weigh...
Here is a very general guide as to what your dog should weigh provided by www.pedigree.com/.
Remember, though, that you should always consult your veterinarian before putting your pooch on a diet as each dog, like each human, is different. There are many things to take into consideration such as the dog's age, health and activity level. Only your veterinarian can advise you as to how much your particular pet should weigh.
* Chihuahua 4 lbs
* Pekinese 9 lbs
* Miniature Schnauzer 15 lbs
* Boston Terrier 19 lbs
* Cocker Spaniel 25 lbs
* Beagle 25 lbs
* Brittany Spaniel 35 lbs
* Siberian Husky 50 lbs
* Airedale Terrier 50 lbs
* Pointer 65 lbs
* Labrador Retriever 75 lbs
* Old English Sheepdog 95 lbs
* Great Dane 130 lbs
* St. Bernard 165 lbs
Dog Weight Problems and Solutions by Maria Hausle
A few things you can do to solve the problem.
Just as in humans, one of the greatest health risks faced by man's best friend is obesity, and also as in humans, this is usually caused by over-eating and bingeing. Environmental factors are often the spark that ignites this behavior which may lead to more serious concerns if not curbed.
Weight problems in dogs make them more prone to specific diseases which, untreated, can not only develop into grave health concerns but may also shorten the pet's life. Let's take a closer look at some of the ways weight problems can affect the health of your dog:
A) Extra fat puts added stress on their bones, joints and muscles which could lead to arthritis, hip dysplasia, joint ligament cracks and even spinal disc disease.
B) More insulin is created in the body as more fat is stored and just like in their human counter-parts, insulin resistance may lead to diabetes in dogs.
C) As excess fat is stored just under the dog's skin, grooming may become a problem which may promote an accumulation of dirt and bacteria that could eventually cause rashes, infections and other skin afflictions.
D) As fat deposits accumulate under the skin, a dog's capability to reduce body heat is compromised thereby making the animal much more susceptible to heat stroke.
E) Normally, a dog's chest area has large fat deposits. If those deposits are increased abnormally, due to obesity, they will interfere with the dog's ability to breathe and the heart will struggle to do its job. Oxygen production and blood circulation will be adversely affected and this could produce serious respiratory ailments as well as heart disease.
F) Dog weight problems may create gastrointestinal dysfunctions such as an inflamed pancreas which is not only extremely painful but may well lead to death.
G) Excessive fat puts an undue strain on the dog's liver functions. As we all know, liver problems are very serious and possibly fatal.
These are just a few of the possible effects that weight problems can have on the health of your dog. As some are, indeed, a very serious threat, it is up to you, as the owner, to treat the situation accordingly in order to give your dog the benefit of a happy, healthy life.
There are many ways to be proactive. One of the best is to make sure your dog has a daily exercise regimen whether it's a walk in the neighborhood or a run at a dog park. An added plus is that the owner will also benefit from the exercise.
Additionally, you must establish a good and healthful diet. Although meals should be lean and low in calories, make certain that they are nutritious and contain all the ingredients necessary for the health of your dog. It is very important that your dog get the proper mix of proteins, vitamins, fiber and minerals so a good commercial dog food is better for him than your home-made meals. However, you can give him much smaller portions of dog food than he's used to by mixing the food with canned vegetables (low sodium if possible) and he will be satisfied although the calories are now substituted by healthy fiber. Keep in mind, though, that if you add more fiber to your dog's diet, you must also provide additional water in order to maintain regularity.
My dog, Sonny, got very used to his treats and cutting them down made us both sad. I read that dogs can count or at least know the difference between one and three, for instance. Realizing that Sonny knew exactly how many treats he was supposed to get at any given time, I cut the treats into six to ten pieces. It worked perfectly. He got his required number of treats but only 1/6 or 1/10 of the calories.
Of course you should always consult a veterinarian before attempting any weight loss regimen to ensure your best friend's health and well-being. And remember that, apart from a good diet and daily exercise, the health of your dog is always enhanced by much love and attention.
My Rat Terrier Sonny and His Weight Problems
My Rat Terrier Sonny and Our Visit to the Vet
by Maria Hausle
In preparation for the odyssey that we'll be enduring at the end of this month, Sonny and I decided to visit the vet (or as my addled, middle-aged mind referred to her, the ventriloquist - don't ask). You see, almost every year, we drive up to Buffalo and Toronto from Knoxville, TN, two whole times; first in the spring/summer and then in November. Not only do we get a chance to see our friends and family but we also get away from our rut even if it's only for a week. Usually, while we're away, our neighbor checks in on Boris (the cat) at least once a day to make sure he has everything he needs, clean his litter (what an angel she is) and play with him a while. Sonny, on the other hand has had to be boarded - something Rat Terriers abhor! He's always lost a little too much weight and had mild behavior problems for a while afterwards so we really didn't like doing it but what could we do? This year, however, my husband decided that we should take him with us... to Buffalo... in the car... with us... in the car... for eleven or twelve hours... in the car! Not a problem, you say. However, Sonny gets car sick (like Mummy, like Puppy) and, therefore is really quite afraid of the car. Ergo, our trip to the vet for some fantastic knock-out pills (my hope).
I had decided to change veterinarians as our other one had already claimed our arm, leg and first born for the very few times we'd actually gone to see her. After talking to the neighbors and discovering that I was the only one stupid enough to still go there, I took their cue and made an appointment at the new place. I got an appointment right away for 3:30 pm but I was supposed to be there at 3:00 pm to fill out the obligatory paperwork. Excellent.
The day arrived and since the office was only about7 minutes away from my house, I decided, quite foolishly as it turned out, that I should leave around 2:45 pm. I, of course, hadn’t counted on Sonny refusing to go. With the car door opened, I let Sonny do his business to avoid any accidents and then led him, naively, to the door expecting him to jump up and into the car happily and elegantly. Instead, he looked at me as though I’d sprouted antlers, cocked his head to the left and promptly sat down on the driveway. Reminded of old cartoons involving stubborn mules, I tugged slightly on his leash and pointed inside the car. He, in turn, decided he’d rather visit Ziggy, his dog-friend from next door. Pulling him back to the car, I tried gesturing frantically in the direction of the car dog with little examples of how he should jump up and into the car. Obviously amused by my antics, he decided to sit and watch me. Realizing that I would have to pick him up and that he weighed a ton, I started reaching for him losing my sunglasses, his vaccination papers, the lovely little bag of doggie-do that I was asked to bring and my purse when he bolted away from me. The next few minutes could have been a scene from a Harold Lloyd film with me bending to pick him up, dropping something and Sonny slipping out of my grasp, over and over again. I finally threw everything inside the car and grabbed him. It took all my strength to get him in the car and attach his harness to the seatbelt but I did it.
Of course, by this time, I looked like I’d fallen into a well and clawed my way out. I was drenched due to the fact that temperatures have been hovering around the 90 degree mark and, truthfully, I’m at that time of my life when outside temperatures don’t really factor into how hot I feel. I got in the car and tried to drown out the whining and whelping with soothing sounds of encouragement. Afraid that he might decide to give me back his breakfast at an inopportune time, I decided to drive slowly and take the curves with great care. The inside of the car could have roasted a turkey in record time so I put the air on full blast. The sound didn’t appease Sonny in the least so I turned on the radio (I like to think he appreciates the Oldies) and started singing "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce to him which confused him enough to stop his complaints.
Part 2 continued below...
Curl Up With A Good Dog And A Good Book!
These are some of my favorite books about dogs. You'll find information on nutrition but also a heartwarming story and some much needed laughter for the young and young-at-heart.
Dog Weight Problems – Is Your Dog Exercising Enough?
Is your dog getting enough exercise? Too much exercise?
Everyone knows that a dog, like a human, needs exercise to avoid weight problems but how much exercise is enough? We really must take into consideration the dog’s breed and size as well as the dog’s age and possible limitations. So, let’s go over a few important points so that we can set up a proper exercise regimen for our best friend.
We need to take a look at the dog’s breed first. Over time, dogs have been bred for many different purposes; to work, to hunt, to race, for show, etc. If a dog’s natural instincts tell it to chase after anything that moves he will probably be more active than one that has been bred to sit on one’s lap looking beautiful. If it’s in a dog’s nature to pull or carry loads for its master, how happy and how fit will the dog be if he’s lying on a sofa all day? Working and hunting dogs need to feel worthwhile and like to be kept busy by their owners. If you own one of these breeds, you must put extra effort into maintaining a high level of activity for them or they will develop behavioral and/or dog weight problems.
Now, let’s take a look at your dog’s size. Large dogs are incapable of getting the exercise they need by running around the house unless they have access to a large yard where they can run and play. Just because they lie on the floor doesn’t mean they’re tired and would rather not go for a brisk walk. However, even if you have a large yard, your dog will still need walks and play time because, to him, the yard simply becomes a larger room and he’ll eventually get bored. Small dogs, on the other hand, can keep themselves quite active indoors. If your dog interacts with other pets in the house, runs, jumps and has rigorous sessions with his toys, he may be getting sufficient exercise along with his daily walks to keep him healthy and happy.
If you have a young dog or puppy in your home, you shouldn’t have much trouble getting him out of the house and walking. However, if your dog is getting on in years, you should gently encourage him to go for daily walks which will help to keep him agile. Don’t force him into strenuous exercise that could harm him, however. A walk doesn’t have to turn into a marathon or an uphill hike in the mid-summer sun. Just as in humans, age slows down a dog’s metabolism. Therefore you should continue his daily exercise which will help to control any weight gain (see Dog Weight Problems for good information on this topic) which, in turn, may help to reduce the severity of joint disease.
Obviously, there are situations that are not conducive to lots of physical activity such as illness or pregnancy. If your dog is ill, a few days’ rest will probably do him more good than a forced walk. Pregnant females should never be pushed into strenuous activity and should be allowed to rest for a couple of hours after meals.
So what if you aren’t able to go for long walks? Don’t worry. Your dog will benefit (and so will you) from shorter, more frequent walks and also from playing fetch, tugging on a rope toy and even playing (or trying to destroy) a special stuffed toy that you give him. Just remember that if you give your dog chew toys like rawhide strips or pig ears which can occupy him physically and mentally for long periods of time, too many may create unwanted weight problems. Another thing you can do is find out where the dog parks are in your area because your dog will truly benefit from running and exploring without being hampered by a leash and you’ll probably find areas where you can sit and watch him. If you have neighbors with dogs that are approximately the same size, you can set up play dates so they can run, wrestle and simply socialize.
Keep in mind that their hearts, muscles and circulatory systems need strengthening just like our own and because of this, activity is the key. However, your best friend would much rather drop in his tracks than let you down so make sure he’s not over-heating (carry some water for him if you go out on very hot days) and that he’s not overly tired. And, of course, if you are planning to make a big change in your dog’s exercise regimen, please make sure to check with your veterinarian first.
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Here are a few samples of great gifts for dog lovers like yourself.
My Rat Terrier Sonny and His Weight Problems by Maria Hausle
(Part 2 - continued from above)
At long last, we arrived at the pet clinic and Sonny dove out of the car like the best diver in Acapulco. Bustling through the door disheveled, sweaty and with a hyperactive dog, I looked at my watch and was horrified to see that it was 3:42 pm. I couldn’t stop myself from fantasizing about how much I’d enjoy strangling the nice lady at the counter if she told me I’d lost my appointment. In fact, I’m quite sure that my eye started twitching like Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movies. But, instead, I was asked to wait and fill out their forms. Now how does one fill out forms when you’re trying to juggle a purse, vaccination papers, dog poop, oh yes and a dog that has now completely lost his mind? Couldn’t they empty the place out for us? Dogs of all breeds, cats and even two parrots were apparently taunting Sonny into becoming a lunatic. A staff member even came out and gave Sonny a treat, to try and calm him down, which he promptly spit out (first time in history that this dog has spit anything out). I finally handed in my illegible forms and asked about the dog obedience training that one neighbor had mentioned. As it happened, the trainer was walking towards me and when she was introduced to us, I swear I saw a flicker of horror in her eyes. She started telling me about the classes and out of the corner of my eye I could see the veterinary assistant waiting to take us into the examination room. So now, apart from juggling the purse, the papers, the poop and the dog, I was now juggling the trainer and the assistant too. I’m not really sure what the trainer told me but I’ve got a card and it says I’m supposed to call her so I suppose I will.
Once in the examination room, things went a little smoother as I was able to dump my paraphernalia and hand Sonny over to professionals. He screamed so loud when he got his shots, though, that the vet actually jumped a bit but that calmed him down and he came over for a reassuring hug. He’s in good health, which I knew but then we went to get him weighed. Last year, he weighed in at 29 lbs. which was 7 lbs. overweight. I’ve been cutting down on his treats, giving him lean or low calorie dog food and trying to take him on more walks so I was confident he’d lost a pound or two. When I looked at the scale and saw that he weighed 35 lbs. I almost burst out crying. I know the serious effects that dog weight problems can have on the health of a dog. My guilt was now complete. Even if she had pointed a finger at me and said, “Bad mistress, bad, bad mistress”, she could not have made me feel worse.
Although the assistant had mentioned a mild sedative for Sonny for the long car drive (some of which I could have used at that time), the vet told me that all I should give him was Dramamine which I just happened to have in my purse. I shouldn’t give him more than 50 grams at one time but he can have up to 150 grams in one day. The only thing is the ones in my purse are the non-drowsy formula so I’ll be picking up the “can’t stay awake no matter how I try” version for him this week.
The drive home was much less eventful. Sonny probably sensed my contrition and decided not to make me feel worse. We drove home listening to the Oldies (we actually heard Me & You and a Dog Named Boo) and when I opened the front door to the house, I think he would have kissed Boris if Boris had let him. He’s happy now because he thinks the worst is past; little does he know there’s a long, long drive ahead of him and another on the way back. I know he’ll survive it; I’m just not so sure I will.
Need Another Opinion On Dog Weight Problems?
Control Your Dog's Weight for a Healthier, Longer Life
By Valerie Goettsch
Obesity is not just a growing problem for the human population, overweight dogs--just plain fat dogs--is becoming more common.
Obesity is a common nutritional disorder in dogs. Just like people, dogs can get fat through over feeding and insufficient exercise.
Even if you think you are only giving your dog a small amount of food per day, if you dog is getting insufficient exercise relative to the amount of food intake, he can still gain weight. Over time, he can and will get fat.
Fat dogs are not healthy dogs. Overweight dogs tend to develop health problems such as diabetes, and excess weight can aggravate conditions such as arthritis, which often develops in middle aged and elderly dogs. To put it in perspective, an extra five pounds on a 15 pound dog is equivalent to an extra 50 pounds on a 150-pound person.
How You Can Prevent Your Dog from Becoming Fat
Fortunately, there are some common-sense weight control measures you can take to help prevent your dog from getting fat.
- If you practice "free feeding" (leaving dry dog food available 24/7), STOP. If your dog hasn't eaten his food within about 15 minutes, remove his dish.
- Reduce your dog's between meal snacks and treats. Dog treats are often high in fat and calories and some treats like biscuits and dog cookies are heavy in low fiber carbs.
- Exercise your dog regularly. Ideally, you should give your dog a brisk walk for at least 20 minutes twice a day. This is as good for you as for your dog in helping to maintain a healthy weight for both of you.
- If you have an overweight dog, talk to your vet about finding the optimum calorie intake for him.
- Consider switching to a low fat dog food and giving him low fat dog treats.
With a little effort your dog will be well on his way to a more healthy weight.
Valerie Goettsch is web master of My Favorite Dog, a website featuring dozens of articles and information on where to find the best of everything for your dog, from flea meds to beds, training and design
Yet Another Advocate Of Dog Weight Problems
The Overweight Dog - Man's Best Friend May be More Like Their Owners Than You Might Think
By Randy Jones
Obesity is one of the major health hazards and life shorteners of pet dogs. Its causes and effects are the same as with humans, and so is the cure. The majority of cases are due to excess calories, and not enough exercise, rather than a disorder. Dogs overeat for the same reasons we do, and more often because of boredom than hunger. When a dog is given little mental and physical activity, mealtime becomes the high point of his day.
Like humans, the dog may transfer his craving for affection into compulsive gluttony. A healthy dog who leads a well-balanced life, complete with affection and companionship is s seldom overweight. Some breeds are prone to overeating due to their keen sense of smell, or from being over fed because they are inside dogs. Puppies gain pounds rapidly during their growth period, but once an adult dog has reached his ideal weight, you should try to keep it stable by weighing him at least once a month.
It's a simple matter to shed a few pounds by putting your dog on a diet for a week or so. By increasing the proportion of vegetables maintaining the normal level of protein, and reducing the fat and starch, the excess weight can be shed fast and safely. But never completely eliminate any of the basic nutritional elements.
Once obesity sets in, the problem is much more difficult and the cure more painful. Until the dog has formed new eating habits, you must resist the temptation to give in and overfeed. Make it up to him by giving him more activity, distraction and affection. If you must give in, you can reward with a dog biscuit, a raw carrot, an apple, or a bone. With time and patience your dog will be slimmer and healthier in no time.
Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed the website http://joncopets.com/ on the site, customers can read articles about anything pets as well as shop for the latest trendy items for their best friend. Feel free to check out the site at
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