January Resolution-A diet for your dog?

Dear dog owner,

Obesity or being overweight develops from a combination of too much energy-rich food and too little exercise. Unfortunately, this time of the year, these conditions happen for both two-footed and four-footed beings...

While we humans tend to notice a change in weight relatively quickly by stepping on the scale or looking at our waistline, it is often quite difficult to estimate the weight of your dog. A number of studies have shown that about a quarter to a third of the dogs examined at the veterinarian’s office are overweight. These few tips should make it easy for you to determine whether your own pet belongs in this group:

  • When you are stroking your dog’s chest, can you feel BOTH the ribs and the edge of the ribcage? In overweight dogs, a fatty layer develops in this location making it difficult to clearly feel the ribs.
  • When you look at your pet from the side: does your dog have a waist? Just as in humans, overweight animals have a less well-defined waistline.
  • When you look at your pet from above: is the back the same width from ribs to rump? A normal weight dog is visibly thinner behind the rib cage.
  • Behavior: Has your dog become more sedentary, does he/she lag behind when you go for a walk? Dogs get out of shape, too, when they are overweight.

If you aren’t sure, just talk with your veterinarian!

Just like with people, obesity isn’t just a cosmetic problem. Serious health conditions affect overweight dogs: for example, it is a significant risk factor for heart failure, Diabetes, and arthritis. All these conditions can shorten your pet’s life expectancy by several years.

While reducing a dog’s diet can work for mildly overweight dogs, a better option is the proper amount of a balanced, nutritious dog food and appropriate exercise. How to develop a plan for your overweight dog is one of the things you will learn in our article about obesity.

We are wishing you a healthy and active dog!
Your enpevet team