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Don't Make Your Dog Fat

Joseph M Sabol

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We all know that being overweight is unhealthy and can cause real problems. We also know what to do about it and how to trim down and lose weight. Well, since our dogs are part of the family, they often end up carrying more weight than is healthy for them. There are many reasons or “excuses" for how we let our dogs get fat.

The most obvious issue is what and how much you feed your dog. We have been programmed to think that our dogs need to eat at least twice a day without fail, yet the truth is, a healthy dog can go without eating for a day or two, as long as there is water available. Now I'm not saying you should withhold food from your dog. The point is, your pooch can probably get along just fine with a little less chow. Treats are another way we contribute to our dogs diet. Dogs love treats and we love to give our dogs treats, however, just like for us, moderation is the key. Letting your dog clean your dinner plates every night or feeding him a steady diet of table scraps will quickly add pounds.

There are other things that will affect your dog's weight. One of the most common issues for overweight dogs is lack of exercise. It is very easy to get in a rut when it comes to exercising your four-legged best friend. We have busy schedules and taking the dog out for a walk everyday, or going to the dog park every weekend can be pushed to the bottom of the priority list. You should do your dog and yourself a favor and get outside and play. You will both reap the benefits.

Something you might not realize is that spaying and neutering lowers a dogs metabolism. If you feed your spayed or neutered dog the same way you would feed an intact dog, he will start to gain weight. Your dog will require fewer calories in order to maintain a healthy weight. Also, keep in mind that as your dog ages, his metabolism slows as does his activity level. There are special dog food formulas for senior dogs. These foods are made specifically for your senior dogs nutritional needs.

If your dog is overweight, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to decide the best way to help your dog get back to a healthy weight. Your vet may want to test for hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. This condition would require medication. If your dog is severely overweight, you will need to be very careful about an exercise program because the added pounds will put a strain on the dog's joints. Your veterinarian will also be able to recommend the best diet, including nutritional supplements.

Keeping your furry friend at a healthy weight allow you to enjoy more quality years together. Your pooch will feel better, and if you follow your dog's diet and exercise program, you'll feel better too.

Joseph M. Sabol is a world class Doberman breeder. Please go to or to for further information.


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