IS YOUR DOG OVERWEIGHT?
Check the chart below to asses your dog’s weight.
Being overweight is as bad for a dog as it is for a human. Dogs can have joint problems, diabetes, heart problems and so on just as humans do from carrying excess weight. Just as obesity can seriously shorten a human’s life – it can also shorten a dog’s life. A dog that is overweight certainly lives a lesser quality of life!
There are several things you should do. First make sure that there is no medical reason for the excess weight, such as a thyroid issue – your veterinarian can do a simple blood test to ensure weight gain is not due to any medical issue.
If you are certain that your dog’s health is good, then you really need to take a look at your dog’s daily regimen…
A – Does your dog get enough exercise on a daily basis? When it comes to exercise, all dogs need exercise – small breed, medium and large breed dogs. For some dogs a daily brisk 30 minute walk might be ok, while other dogs may require two 40 minute to 60 minute walks a day…just like people, every dog is different.
B – Do you feed your dog too much food? Do you feed your dog the wrong foods?
About 50% of Dogs in North America are overweight. When my client’s dogs are overweight I usually ask them a serious of questions and then provide them with information and advice on how to regain control of their dog’s weight.
And you really need to take a look at your habits – sorry, but this is often the root of the problem with your dog’s weight. I can’t help you and your dog if I do not push you to see how we affect our dogs!
C –Many people use food to show affection and love to their dogs…this can lead to significant weight gain, deterioration of health and quality of life as well as behavioral problems;
D –Many people also use treats as their primary or even sole method of ‘training’ their dog – I do not recommend this!
- First of all dogs do not use treats as their primary method of instructing each other, they use body language and state-of-being as a primary teaching tool – we should too!
- Using treats only to teach and reward is a human conceit that can lead to overindulgence and weight gain;
- Using treats only – the human never learns to be aware of the more effective, more natural ways in which to communicate with and coach/mentor our dogs – this is a great opportunity lost. When we learn to use other means more natural to a dog we open up a whole new world of awareness and connectivity in ourselves – we enable the best in ourselves and our dogs. I recommend that you read these articles to learn more…
- On Dogs and Opportunism
- Affection and Your Dog
- How Dogs Communicate
One of the most common issues I see is that people leave food in their dog’s bowl 24/7. This is even more of an issue if you have multiple dogs – as some dogs have a built in sensor that tells them when to stop eating, other dogs will keep eating until there is nothing left to eat. Much like people!
Dogs are not grazers like rabbits, horses and cows. Dogs are hunters and are biologically evolved to eat their meal and then fast until the next meal. When we leave food out for them on a constant basis we create an unnatural condition. It is far better to feed your dog twice or three times a day. If your dog does not eat all of the food in their bowl within a matter of minutes lift the bowl up and offer a little less food next time.
To cut back on your dog’s weight – don’t do anything drastic, just cut back their regular portions by a small amount and allow your dog to lose weight slowly. Once your dog has lost the desired amount of weight you can increase the food a tiny bit and maintain from there.
I DO NOT recommend special weight reduction dry dog food products, store bought or veterinarian prescribed weight reduction foods as the majority of these products are not health supporting for your dog. I do recommend feeding a nutritionally sound diet and simply reducing the quantity of food provided on a daily basis. If your dog still seems hungry offer him her some of the fruits and vegetables on this list prepared as noted.and prepare as directed.
UNDERSTAND WHAT GOOD NUTRITION CONSISTS OF
A homemade diet that supports and maintains a healthy weight;