Meet this adorable Puggle boy. He is such a sweet dog, cute as a button. However, he was also one of the 53 % of dogs in the US that are overweight or obese. When we first met this little guy, he was snuggly, but a bit lethargic and pretty much sleeping all day. While he loved to engage with other dogs, he got tired within minutes and quickly retreated to just watching the other pooches play.
At that point this “little” Puggle weighed a hefty 42 pounds! For a medium sized dog like him, this equals more than 60+ pounds on a woman with an ideal weight of 140 lbs. Pick up two 30-pound dumbbells and walk around with them all day. Feeling exhausted? Not up to much moving around? Knees and joints hurt? Just at the mere thought, it comes a no surprise that, similar to obesity in humans, too much weight on your dog is neither “cute” nor “snuggly”. In fact, it can have detrimental effects on the health & lifespan of dogs.
Do you think your pup is in the right “shape”?
While many of you may admit that your pooch has a little bit of “extra” to love, few actually realize that their dog’s weight poses a real risk. Five extra pounds on your dog for instance are a lot more crucial than on a human. Here is an example how five extra pounds on a dog compare to extra weight on a woman with an ideal weight of 140 lbs:
- Small dog (with an ideal weight of 10 lbs) equals +60 lbs
- Medium size dog (with an ideal weight of 25 lbs) equals +30 lbs
- Large dog (with an ideal weight of 70 lbs) equals +10 lbs
A survey showed that 22 % of dog owners said their pup’s weight was normal, when it was actually overweight or obese. Our personal experiences unfortunately confirm this.
So, to make sure you are not one of the 22 % unintentionally risking their dog’s health, put your dog to the test: if you can’t easily feel your pets ribs and spine without applying pressure, the stomach isn’t tucked in and a waistline is non-existent, chances are your dog is overweight.
While there are cases of medical conditions that predispose some dogs to obesity, most common cause is simply a result of overfeeding, improper diet/nutrition and lack of exercise. Unless your dog falls into the first category, this is good news, because it means it’s in your power to get your dog back into a healthy shape and enjoy a happier, healthier companion!
Add happy years to your dog’s life!
It is a fact, that our pets will live shorter lives, if obesity is not addressed. On the other hand, taking care of your dog appropriately and keeping it at the proper weight can add up to 2.5 years to your dog’s life, not to mention prevent your pooch from suffering unnecessary “dis-eases” and help you save on vet bills to treat the ailments related to excess weight!
Among the primary risks of too many pounds on your four-legged family member are
- insulin resistance and type II diabetes
- high blood pressure
- kidney disease
- certain cancers
- heart & respiratory disease
- cranial cruciate ligament injury
That doesn’t sound so “cute” anymore, does it?
For Teddy that meant something had to happen! And so Teddy was put on proper nutrition, with a meal plan supporting his health while being adequate to his size and lifestyle and an exercise regimen that was fun for him and adapted to his current stamina. Teddy is now down to 26 pounds and when you meet this little fella, you’ll have a hard time keeping up! He’s as sweet and snuggly as before, but so much happier running around, playing, enjoying life. Just after a few pounds you will already notice a big difference in your dog – they all exude happiness like a big weight has been lifted (no pun intended). He is featured in the banner of our Dog Weight Loss “FAT Camp“, by the way, if you want to see his accomplishment in before & after pictures.
Need some help shedding those pounds?
You have heard of Dog Weight Loss Camps and wonder what the fuss is about? Well, as much as it may seem like common sense to you, dog nutrition and consequences of malnutrition are not as clear to every dog owner, as you may think. Just like some people needing a Personal Trainer or Dietitian to help bring them on the right track, so do some dog owners.
Picking the right food & treats for your dog among a sheer endless selection at the pet store and figuring out how much your pup really needs to eat isn’t all that simple. Each dog food advertises to be the best, each treat is supposedly healthy – even if just for cleaning your dog’s teeth, and the feeding guidelines on the back of your dog food are rarely ever adequate. Those are really just guidelines that can’t take into account how active your dog is, how well his metabolism works and a few other variables. We won’t get too much into proper nutrition here (that’s a whole big topic for a separate post), but if you are interested in what you are feeding your dog and decipher the ingredient mumbo jumbo, visit www.dogfoodadvisor.com. It’s an awesome, completely independent site that does nothing but review pretty much all the dog foods on the market. Chubby pooch or not – if you can switch your pup to a food with a higher rating than what your you may currently be feeding, that’s awesome!
Get motivated on your dog’s behalf!
So, did you test your pup and determined you have a dog weight loss candidate on hand? Whether you decide to take it upon your self or need assistance: if you love your pooch and want to spend as many years together as possible, make sure he or she is at a healthy weight!
And if you don’t know how: We’re here to help you get your pup back on the health track. Our Dog Weight Loss Camp will help your dog shed those extra pounds, get healthier and happier and it will provide you with the necessary education and guidelines, such as nutrition and meal plans, vet recommendations, exercise programs and much more to keep it that way.
(Visit the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention online for more about pet obesity and tips on weight loss.)