Because obesity poses a big threat for your pet’s health, you need to monitor and regulate his weight. In this article, Jordan Walker, pet blog enthusiast and content curator of Coops and Cages, shares his knowledge and insights on weight control for your dog.
Dogs that are clinically obese are more prone to osteoarthritis, multiple cancers, respiratory diseases, Diabetes Type 2, kidney disease, and other diseases that may decrease life expectancy up to 2 ½ years. To keep your pet around much longer, you as a pet owner should do your best to keep your pet healthy by starting with the prevention of obesity.
The first step to preventing obesity is to know the ideal weight range. In line with this, pet owners must know the normal weight for their pet.
To determine the normal weight, the body conditioning score must be identified. This can also be checked by feeling your pet’s spine, shoulders, and hips. You’ll notice that a small amount of fat could be present on those bony prominences, but you should still be able to feel the bone underneath.
In order to confirm whether your pet is fit, his ribs shouldn’t be visible, but should be felt when you touch the area directly above it.
If you want to keep your pet’s weight in the right scale, here’s a useful advice. You need to keep a close watch on his diet and exercise. How?
Basically, there are two key factors that mainly affect your pet’s weight.
Diet. If you’re feeding your pet with commercially prepared dog food, you need to check the label and take note of the calories per serving to avoid preparing too much of it. Choose to give healthy dog treats instead of table scraps, or give low-calorie treats.
Exercise. Aside from keeping the muscles and bones healthy, exercise help burn excess fat from the body. You can take your dog along for a walk, or jog with him. You may as well introduce other forms of exercise such as swimming or hiking once in a while.
Weight gain can also be caused by an underlying disease or conditions such as the presence of parasites, water retention, Cushing’s disease, and hypothyroidism. Regular check-ups with the vet can be helpful for early detection and treatment. Most of these conditions can be managed well with the help of your vet. If you’re worried about the expenses, you also have the option to have pet insurance for treatments.
Preventing obesity and keeping your pet fit could demand a lot of work and time for most pet owners. However, pet owners who are dedicated to taking care of their pet fully understand that seeing their pet fit, healthy and happy can be quite a rewarding experience.
Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan likes to write many pet related blogs, and is also the lead content curator for Coops and Cages. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. Catch him on Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages.