In the recent past, there has been a great splurge in the number of obesity cases reported in pets. Recent studies indicate that 9 out of 10 pet owners don't know the healthy amount of calories their pets should be having.
Canine obesity is a serious problem seen not just in India but globally, in fact it has become so common that we have come to see overweight dogs as normal. With the change in our lifestyle, we have become more complacent in our everyday habits of healthy nutrition and regular exercise. This, believe it or not has had a direct effect on our pet’s lifestyle as well.
Health Issues Associated With Obesity in Pets
1. Exercise Intolerance
3. Hormonal Imbalance
4. Difficulty in breathing
5. Increased heat sensitivity
6. Diabetes Mellitus
How to manage an obese dog?
Before we tackle this question it is first very important to identify the main cause behind your dog’s obesity, which more or less boils down to two simple factors:
NUTRITION and EXERCISE.
Feed a Complete & Balanced Diet
Diet plays a crucial role in managing obesity in pets. Most pet parents are aware that balanced nutrition is fundamental to achieving normal growth and development in a growing dog, but there is a common tendency to overfeed or to over-supplement the diet. It is very important therefore to closely evaluate the amount of calories your dog is consuming on a daily basis.
While feeding your dog it is also very important to keep his body type, breed age and activity level in mind as nutritional requirements of dogs vary according to these factors. Home-cooked food often proves to be inadequate when it comes to maintaining the right balance of calories as well as macro & micro-nutrients.
The effortless approach to managing your dog’s weight is by switching its diet to professional weight management dog food. It is important that this food is formulated to have abundant protein, less fat per meal, a component to burn fat as well as supplements to support joint health. A good example of this is the Pedigree Pro Adult Weight Management dry food that has been developed by nutritionists and vets at the Waltham Centre, UK. It provides expert nutrition with quality ingredients like rice, soy flour, soya oil, chicken and isolated soya protein. It also contains L-Carnitine that helps burn fat as well as Glucosamine and Omega Fatty Acids to help support healthy joints. What’s even better is that it contains 20% less fat per meal** to help less active or overweight dogs achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Commercial dog foods like Pedigree are complete & balanced however, knowing how many calories a given commercial dog food contains in a serving is also critical. Sometimes the calories are given per cup, and other times per gram, and sometimes both. Follow the feeding guidelines on a bag of food, and always check to see if the food is compliant to your dog breed type and age range. Avoid unrestricted access to food.
Considering these aspects, it is very important to implement healthy and accurate feeding practices to balance your dog’s diet.
**Compared to other Pedigree Pro variants.
Proper Exercise Schedule
The next step is to make sure that your dog is getting plenty of exercise and burning calories each day. Be careful, if your dog is carrying excess weight, and too much walking can hurt his joints. A better way to exercise your dog, at least until he loses some weight is to take him swimming, so he doesn’t put any stress on his joints.
Being lean can add years to your dog’s life, and being obese can cause a myriad of health problems and significant joint pain. Our dogs can’t join a gym or eat better on their own; it’s up to us to make healthy life choices on their behalf and do our bit.