Is there a new wave of dog dog owners who have overweight pets? With everything going retro, what happened the good old fashion brisk walk? Maybe the outbreak of overweight dogs is simpler that we think. A past article in the WSJ suggests that maybe this phenomenon coincides with the dream of owners “managing to find time.”
I believe there is a simpler answer. Could it be as simple as flipping less chips to our dogs? Less human food leftovers, more dog owner self control, and just organizing your daily or weekly routine to include a 20 minute walk or 10 minute game of fetch.
So, is it merely a matter of finding the time or is it really just making the time?
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
- More than half of US dogs and cats are overweight or obese
- Obese = 30% above normal weight
- 20% of dogs and cats are obese
- Research suggests that pets fed less over their lifetime can live significantly longer
New efforts are afoot to stem what many vets believe is the single most preventable health crisis facing the country’s 171 million plus dogs and pet cats. They include software for doctors to track a pet’s “Body Condition Score”, a blood test that could quickly determine animals’ body-fat percentage, Weight Watchers-type pet diet plans and doggie treadmills. Utah-based Pet Zen Products LLC makes “Dog Tread” treadmills ranging from $599-$999.
- Can you feel the pet’s ribs easily? If you have to dig around, the animal is likely too heavy
- Look at the animal from the side –You should see a tucked abdomen. A hanging belly indicates excess fat.
- Look at the animal from above. You want to see a moderate tapered “waistline,” not a broad, flat back.
What to do:
- Calculate calories — See petobesityprevention.com
- Measure meals –Don’t just fill the bowl. Talk to your vet, take charge and look for a low calorie food. Look out for over treating and substitute vegetables and fruits, such as sliced carrots and apples, dogs love them.
- Exercise daily –For dogs, 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking. You’ll both look fabulous before New Years! Go figure, self control, save money and exercise, exercise, exercise. Now you have a partner in crime.