Obesity in Australian dogs is at an all-time record high, with recent AVA statistics showing that 60% of dogs over 4 are either over-weight or obese. Obesity can be a hidden disease, with many pet owners not really linking it to other conditions like arthritis, diabetes and liver problems.
Obesity is caused by a combination of over-feeding and lack of exercise, but over-feeding is by far the most common problem. Most pet owners use food as a bonding tool with their pets, either by way of feeding treats as a reward, or as part of training, or simply as a way of loving their pet by offering food scraps and left-overs.
One of the main culprits in obesity is dry food, because it is so calorie dense. Most owners just don’t realise that because dry food has had the natural moisture removed (a natural raw food diet is about 67% moisture, whereas dry foods are about 8% moisture), then the food is actually 3-4 times more concentrated in energy, and you need to feed 3-4 times less in weight/volume to achieve the same calorie content. It is a common mistake to look at a bowl of dry food and think gee, that’s not much, I might add a bit more. That little bit more each day results in obesity.
Obesity is linked to many diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, liver failure, thyroid failure, constipation and anal gland impaction. One of the easiest ways to lose un-wanted weight from your dog or cat is to switch to a raw food diet, and feed just one meal per day, in the morning. Raw food will speed up metabolism, and the extra volume will keep your pet satiated, so they are not constantly looking for more food. Feeding in the morning will match the metabolic needs of the animal, and prevent conversion of blood glucose to fat.