I was driving through downtown Gig Harbor on a beautiful sunny, Sunday morning. The walkers were out in droves. Many of the walkers were accompanied by their dogs. Research has shown that people who walk their dogs get more exercise and loose weight.
We also know that dogs need both physical and mental stimulation to be healthy. A nice walk plus all the sights and sounds are good for both ends of the leash. I did notice that many of the dogs appeared overweight. Maybe like their owners they had put on a few lbs over the winter. I was glad to see them out walking.
Obesity in dogs results in the same medical conditions as humans, heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems. Dogs do not have opposable thumbs. They cannot go to the freezer and scope out ice cream. They do not carry wallets so they can’t stop at a coffee shop for a scone. If you cannot feel your dog’s ribs and see a tuck at their waist they are over weight. The only way they can get that way is if we humans over feed and under exercise them. If you have been telling yourself that your dog just has a lot of coat wet them down and give them a bath and see what they look like wet. See if they have a tuck. You can also take your dog into your veterinarian’s office and weigh them on the scale. Then you will have a baseline of their current weight and you can check it against weights of past visits.
Monitoring food intake is not hard. First buy a good quality food. Check on www.dogfoodadvisor.com and see how the food you are currently feeding rates. Read the back of the dog food bag and feed for your dog’s ideal weight not what it weighs now. Put an actually measuring scoop in the bag and know exactly how much you are feeding. It is then easy to increase or decrease food as necessary to keep your dog at optimum weight. Also if you use treats to train you must subtract the amount of treats from your dog’s daily intake of kibble.
Spring is really coming let’s put a spring back into our dog’s step by helping them slim down for all the fun summer activities.