Obesity is the leading health concern facing pets today. One of the biggest obstacles we face in the fight against obesity is that the idea of what is “normal” has skewed so much that dogs who are significantly overweight are viewed as ideal by their owners. In fact, in a recent survey, 45% of owners identified their obese pet as having a good/healthy body condition. Obesity leads to many health concerns including diabetes, joint disease, and heart disease to name a few. The good news is that obesity is almost entirely preventable.
When is a dog considered to be overweight?
There are some very handy visual tools available to help you assess your dog’s body condition. Some general rules are that you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs without having to squeeze too much. When you look at your dog from above, you should see a visible waistline, and when you look from the side view your dog’s abdomen should tuck up nicely. Depending on the scale used, a body condition of 3/5 or 5/9 is considered ideal.
Are some breeds prone to obesity?
Unfortunately, there are some breeds of dogs who have an easier time putting weight on than others. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Pugs, Beagles, Dachshunds, Rottweilers, and Cocker Spaniels all fall into the group of dogs prone to obesity. Choosing healthy treats, avoiding table scraps, using a moderate calorie diet, and providing a good amount of exercise will help keep those extra pounds at bay and extend the quality and quantity of your dog’s life.
Why should you have weight loss & management consultation at a clinic?
If you suspect your pet may be packing a little extra we are here to help! We are happy to provide complimentary weight assessment consultations. These appointments allow us the opportunity to assess your dog’s body condition so that we can recommend an appropriate food choice, healthy weight loss schedule, and safe exercise regime. The consultation is the first step in a weight loss program. Follow up visits help us ensure your dog is on the right path to taking those unwanted pounds off and living a healthier, happier life!