Contrary to common belief, a fat dog is not a happy dog (even if it thinks it is happy). It is very easy to kill your dog with kindness by over-feeding it. Especially when everyone in the family likes to slip your pet the “occasional” titbit.
But how do I know if my dog is overweight?
A good test is to look at your dog, like humans, if your dog has no waste then is probably an indicator that some weight control measures are in order. Also, if you can no longer feel your dogs ribs then it is time to start taking action.
How much food does your dog really need?
Along with the general population of people, dogs are also suffering from obesity from eating the wrong food and eating too much food.
It is relatively easy to control the amount of food your dog is eating and it is essential that you gauge its weight on a regular basis to ensure that it doesn’t get obese. Owners who fall prey to those “puppy dog eyes” are not being kind. Unfortunately we all need to learn to self-discipline and restraint to stay healthy.
Dogs can suffer from many different ailments due to obesity including diabetes.
There are an increasing number of dogs suffering from this disease and in most cases this could have been avoided through the correct nutrition and monitoring the amount of food the dog has been eating.
Having a dog with diabetes will necessitate the injection of insulin or in some cases taking of pills to assist in the maintenance of the correct sugar levels in their blood.
Obviously this involves additional expense and inconvenience and there is also a danger that should the insulin level be incorrect your pet could die.
It makes sense then that your dog should only eat what is good for it and in quantities that won’t result in it developing health problems later in life. Fresh food is always best, for dog and man alike.
Working dogs will need more food for the energy that they will expend in the course of the day but a dog that lays around the house all day and doesn’t get any exercise will not need to eat the same portions of food. Neutered and spayed dogs generally have a lowered metabolic rate and also require less calories per day.
You should weigh your dog on a regular basis and see whether it is gaining or losing weight and adjust the amount of food it is eating accordingly.