Monday, February 13, 2012

3 Things You Can Do To Help Your Dog Lose Weight

We are an overweight society and our pets are no different. Over half of American dogs are overweight, and up to 25% are obese.

Dogs with obesity are more prone to a variety of health problems, just like people. These include an increased incidence of diabetes, asthma, and hip and joint problems.

Losing weight can help overweight dogs become healthier and happier. It can also help them to live longer.

Here are some things you can do tomorrow that can help your dog start losing weight.
  1. Cut the treats in half. If you must feed treats, cut them in half or give half as many in a day. This can help cut calories. Switching to carrots may help.
  2. Exercise your dog more. Ask your vet if your pet is healthy enough to tolerate more exercise. If you play with your dog every day, play a few minutes longer. If you go on a walk, go a little farther. This helps burn calories.
  3. Lower the amount of calories your dog consumes each day by changing your dog's food. I like to use diets lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein.
There are several diets formulated for weight loss. Discuss it with your veterinarian to learn more. But remember, whatever diet is chosen, portion control is a big issue.

Although the most common explanation for an overweight pet is simply a lack of exercise and too much to eat. But what if you feed your dog sensibly, exercise adequately, and your dog still has a weight problem?

There could be a number of underlying diseases may be causing your dog to become overweight or obese. Hormonal diseases such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome commonly cause weight gain. Steroid pills or tablets with cortisone-like drugs could also be contributing to the obesity.

If these 3 simple hints don't help, ask your veterinarian if an underlying disease could be part of the problem.

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