Is Your Dog Overweight Indian Trail
With 35 million or 45 percent of American dogs overweight or obese, putting your pooch on a diet might just be on the cards. Do you know if your dog needs to lose weight or are you still calling it “puppy fat”? While owners are busy spoiling their canine friends with treats, extra food, and cookies as a show of love, the reality is that an overweight dog is neither happy nor healthy, and if your dog falls into this category, it’s time to fix it, immediately. Overweight dogs are prone to illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and canine diabetes, constant fatigue, and other debilitating and life-shortening problems. Scroll past the jump to learn how to get your dog’s life back into shape and to get you retrained too.
Know the signs of an overweight or obese dog
Rib test: Run your hands down the side of your dog. Feel for them; if you cannot find them easily, your dog is fat and needs to lose weight. Check her profile from above; a normal sized dog will have an obvious waistline and her tummy will not be under her rib cage when viewed from the side. A plump dog’s tummy will sag, her back will seem broad and flat, and you’ll have a hard time gauging whether or not she even has a waist
Weigh your dog at home. The best method for weighing your dog is to know your own weight first, then pick up your dog and stand on the scales together. Subtract your own weight from the total and you’ll have the right figure. If your dog is large, be sure to pick her up carefully to avoid hurting your back or dropping her; crouch down low, gather her around the body and legs and use your legs to lift you back up
Check the weight of your dog’s breed against a trusted chart. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention provides a good one here: http://www.petobesityprevention.org/ideal-weight-ranges/
If you are feeding kibble or other dry food, look for a minimum of 25 percent protein. More is better: generally, the higher the protein, the lower the carbs. There is no harm in feeding high protein diets to puppies, seniors, or healthy adult dogs; there are only a few specific health conditions that require protein to be limited. (See “Diet and the Older Dog,” WDJ December 2006, for more information on this topic).
Look for fat percentage around 12 to 16 percent. Some dogs have had success losing weight with reduced portions of even higher-fat foods that are also very high in protein, probably because these foods are quite low in carbs.
Avoid foods with excessively high (more than 5 to 6 percent) fiber, the indigestible part of carbohydrates. Increased fiber will not help your dog feel satisfied, and too much can interfere with nutrient absorption. Hill’s Prescription r/d dry dog food (its weight-loss formula) has an astonishing 26 percent fiber, including 10.4 percent cellulose (essentially sawdust!). Over one quarter of what you’re paying for is indigestible.
More information here from the Whole dog Journal http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/12_9/features/Canine-Weight-Loss-Advice_16158-1.html