Your dog can be unhealthy and in need of getting fit just like us humans can be in need of losing weight, eating healthy and getting more exercise. Dogs can suffer health issues when they are not fit and healthy.
Just like our diets and amount of exercise can determine if we are fit or not the same can be said for a dog. One of the biggest health concerns facing both the dog and the dog owner is obesity.
Dogs can be overfed just like a human can overeat. Overweight dogs can suffer health problems related to being overweight such as diabetes mellitus. If your dog is overweight, the dog can have a shortened lifespan.
Your vet can help to determine if your dog is overweight. If your dog is overweight the vet will help you decide on the proper dog food, and amount of exercise.
Improper dog food, amount of dog food, and lack of exercise are not the only contributing factors to dog obesity.
A dog may also become obese due to health conditions such as hyperthyroidism, advancing age, gender, and breed. Your vet can help you by determining the cause of your dog’s obesity.
Feeding Your Dog
If feeding is the cause of the dog’s obesity, your vet can devise a feeding plan and the proper food for you and also instruct you on how to feed your dog properly. Snacks and doggie treats are an area of special concern for owners of obese dogs.
There are alternatives to high caloric dog treats such as healthy snacks such as carrots. Stop any bad habits such as feeding your dog leftovers from the plates of the human family members.
Did you know that besides contributing to obesity, when you feed your dog from your plate you encourage begging (a most undesirable behavior).
Take your dog for a walk everyday, both you and your dog will benefit from the exercise. A dog does not normally have the ability to walk itself; it depends on the owner to give it the opportunity to go for walks.
Make a point to exercise your dog on a regular schedule so that your dog will get used to walking and look forward to the time alone with the owner. Regular walks are great opportunities to stay fit and to create a bond between owner and dog.
Proper healthcare by receiving regular schedule vet visits, good nutritious dog food that is age appropriate and designed for the dog’s lifestyle and weight as well as a regular exercise program are all key factors in keeping your dog healthy and fit.
You the owner are responsible for taking your dog to the vet, feeding the dog in a responsible manner, seeking proper types of food and snacks (treats), and taking the initiative to exercise your dog on a regular basis. The responsibility for the fitness of the dog is the dog owner’s.