Tuesday, February 09, 2010
No Fat Dogs
One of my major pet peeves are fat dogs.
I work with dogs all day, and teach dogs most evenings. Lots of fat dogs. Seriously. If your lab looks like a coffee table on legs then perhaps a diet is in order?
All dogs should have a nice tuck, and a noticeable waist line. In most dogs you should be able to see the last rib. If you have to seach through a layer of fat to feel the rib then I'd say your dog is fat.
There are three easy steps to help your dog to lose weight
1) Measure. seriously. it's that simple.
2) Feed a good quality food.
3) Exercise your dog. One 10 minute leash walk a day is not going to cut it.
If your dog is seriously overweight you can do a few extra things to help them along.
Green Beans and Pumpkin are great fillers. If your dog is on a small amount of food and thinks he is starving the filler will make him feel full without making him fat.
Take into account your treats. If you are giving your dog three milkbones every day on top of training treats you may have to cut back, use smaller treats, or even use kibble if your dog will work for it.
Split your meals. I forget where I read this first, but by splitting the meals into smaller portions it can help the dog to metabolize the food better, and help with weight loss.
With my breed I have noticed that it is very easy for them to get fat- a few days of too many extras, or not measuring kibble and all of a sudden Wicca starts looking like a torpedo. :o) I have recently had to cut everyone back after switching to a food with a tad bit higher fat/protein....
Wicca gets 1/2 cup a day.
Pixel gets 3/4 cup a day
Vito gets 1 cup a day
Boone gets 3/4 cup a day.
These aren't yorkies folks. They are dogs that range in the 25-30 pound mark...
Why does it matter if your dog is fat?
Joint health- if you have a large breed dog that can be prone to displasia, or a small breed dog that is prone to patella (knee) problems carrying around the extra weight on potentially compromised joints doesn't make much sense. it could make that issue much, much worse.
Heart health- same as in people an overweight dog is more likely to have heart problems later on.
Longevity- do you want your dog to have a long, healthy life and live well into their teens? By keeping them healthy (including weight) you can increase the chance of that.
Appearance!! As humans we like to look at things that are pretty or handsome...a fat dog is just not attractive. Especially a fat dog with no hair to hide the offending fat rolls...
And of course if you participate in agility, or any other dog sport then it is a given. You don't often see fat dogs doing agility anymore as people seem to be more health conscious. There are the odd ones out there though and I always cringe when I see them struggle up the frame, or land with an "oomph" over a jump...
If you aren't sure if your dog is fat or could lose a few pounds ask someone! Most people are going to be honest with you. I'd tell you for sure...or you could take an honest look at your dog yourself....