Fat dogs don't become overweight on their own. Since dogs can not prepare their own food, their human guardians are the ones who need to take charge if they're going to lose weight.
Am I Overweight?
The first place to go for advice is your dog's Veterinarian. Or, Ask a Vet Online your questions and get answers quickly.
Determining your dogs ideal weight can be a challenge. If your dog is a purebred, there will be a weight range that you can start with to figure out your dogs ideal weight. Your dogs veterinarian should have a weight chart in her office.
Some breeds are predisposed to weight gain. You may need to be extra vigilant if you share your home with one of these breeds:
Another step in the right direction is to learn more about health, training, and overall care of your dog's specific breed, or dog care in general.
If you are a dog parent to a mixed breed, then you'll need to do a touch test to determine if you do indeed have a fat dog. Place your thumbs on your dog's spine and spread your fingers across her rib cage.
You should be able to discern each rib easily, there should be no more than a thin layer of fat over the ribs. If it feels spongy, if you can't find the ribs, there's a good chance your dog is overweight. Viewed from above, your dog should clearly have shoulders, ribs, waist, and hips.
Next, understand that a dog's weight gain is usually gradual, so you may not have even noticed that he's put on extra pounds. Lastly, and this is very encouraging, dog obesity can not only be controlled, but also reversed, and then managed!
There are also things you can do yourself. So, we've laid out a few simple ideas to help your overweight dogs.
For larger dogs, or for more accurate results you can go to your Vet. Many vet clinics have walk-on scales and wouldn't mind at all if you dropped in to weigh your pet weekly so you can monitor your progress. You may be less inclined to give extra treats if you know you have to go in for a weighing each week.
Beyond making changes to food intake, helping your dog get needed exercise is another way of aiding in weight loss. Be sure to slowly introduce new exercises (and consult your Veterinarian or Ask a Vet Online) since your fat dogs joints may be easily harmed by aggressive or excessive exercise.
Having fat dogs is a national trend. It's estimated that nearly half of all dogs (cats, too) are overweight or even obese. But with your Vet's recommendations you can help your overweight dog lose the weight, and gain a healthier lifestyle, vitality, and many more years by your side.
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