Want an easy way to help reduce your dog’s risk of cancer and other chronic diseases AND extend their life? Keep your dog at a healthy weight throughout their lifetime.
It’s estimated that 55.6% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese. More than half! I guess it’s not surprising given the fact that obesity is also on the rise in the human population. As part of the family, dogs often reflect their owner’s lifestyle choices, which may include lack of exercise and overindulgence in food. The good thing for dogs though, is that they don’t buy or prepare their own food. We have the power to control their diet and help them maintain an optimal weight.
Think a few extra pounds on your dog is no big deal? Excess weight increases your dog’s risk of developing a lot of serious conditions including:
- Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
- Kidney Disease
- Many Forms of Cancer
- Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
So how can you tell if your dog is a healthy weight? Look for these 3 signs:
- Ribs are easily felt
- Tucked abdomen – no sagging stomach
- Waist when viewed from above
If you notice that your dog is overweight, be sure to talk with your vet. Sometimes weight gain can be caused by a medical condition that needs to be addressed. But more often, it is the same simple formula that works for humans too – less food (or better quality food) and more exercise. Your vet can help you develop a diet and exercise plan to help you get your pup back into shape in no time.
For more information about how to manage your pet’s weight, visit the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention at: www.petobesityprevention.com.