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Obesity in the k9 world

Obesity in people in the UK and the United States is at an all time high and the same trend is appearing for our four legged friends. We love our dogs so we do like to give them treat or two but these indulgences are not good for them.

While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, these tips apply for any breed.

Most domestic dogs have a lot more body fat than dogs in the wild and dogs that are overweight are increasingly more prone to illnesses such as arthritis, breathing difficulties, joint issues, heart problems and diabetes. So ultimately by giving your pets that treat can lead to a poor quality of life for them or even death!

Dogs are scavengers in the wild and will eat anything they find weather they are hungry or not. When your dog begs for food the worst possible thing is to give in to this habit as once it starts it is very hard for them to stop as dogs pick up quickly. Therefore even just giving the odd treat here and there is not a good idea. The scientific name for this is ”variable reinforcement” and therefore it will probably a good idea to put your dog out of the room when you are eating and if you have little ones that like to walk around with snacks then I advise the same, this will avoid your dog hovering up the crumbs.

There is a lot of evidence that has been pointed towards chubby puppies becoming over weight adults. The best thing is to stick to feeding your puppy the minimum amount of food recommended from the packet if that fulfils your dog. You cannot go on breed weight charts as all cases are individual and differ, so my advice would be to look at your dog’s body shape and assess the body fat on your dog.
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From a bird’s eye view does your dog have a waist line – does the body taper from the rib cage? If your dog has a well cushioned rib cage you need to take action! – seek advice from your vet on what dietary food is best for your dog/exercise.  Check out our article on ways you can get fit with your dog.

Most likely your vet will suggest a calorie controlled dietary food, I would suggest weighing the food out as it can be easy to over fill the cup supplied with the food, another idea is to split your dogs daily intake and spit it twice or three times a day, this can help with the hunger your dog might feel. So if tinker bell wants to fit into her small girl dog clothes in UK then this is the advice to follow.

Don’t forget non-fattening treats such as ball games, walks and love/attention which can help to strengthen the relationship between you both.

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Also check out our articles on exercise:

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