By: Elaine Poulin, M.Ed, CPT
Founder/Owner, Carolina Dog Training, LLC and Trained By Elaine™
Is My Dog Overweight?
Did you know that over 55% of dogs in the U.S are overweight or obese? These dogs are prone to weight-related diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease thus costing dog owners millions in avoidable medical costs.
Dog owners can become aware of how to tell if their dog is overweight and do something about it. Increased awareness can help prevent serious injuries and joint problems resulting from obesity. Healthy weight can be enjoyed through education, exercise and diet. Your vet is the best resource to determine if there is any underlying health issue causing your dog’s obesity and the serious problems it can lead to.
If your dog’s weight problem is a result of overfeeding and under-exercising then get him on a healthy plan. Choose a quality reduced-fat diet and start regular walks. This will also give your dog more energy resulting in a happier dog and happier you!
Here’s how to tell if your dog may be overweight: you won’t be able to count the number of ribs as you move your hands along your dog’s body. He may also be carrying too much weight if he has no waist as you run your hands along his sides and there is only a straight line from hips to shoulders.
The good news is that it is never too late to start your dog on a healthy exercise and diet program that will lead to a longer, more fulfilling life together! Remember to check with your veterinarian to determine whether your dog is at his optimum weight and begin a plan that best fits you and your dog today.