Eat Less, Exercise More!

How many times have I made that New Year’s resolution? Don’t ask! Of course it is great advice for many of us humans, but right now, I’m not talking about you or me, I’m talking about our dogs. Did you know that your dog being overweight can result in serious health problems? First of all, it can reduce your dog’s lifespan. What? That’s not good. In addition, multiple areas of the body are negatively affected by excess body fat, including the heart, bones and joints, the digestive organs, and the organs responsible for breathing capacity.

How do you know if your dog is overweight?  Do this. While your dog is standing, stand over your dog and look down. See if you can see a defined edge to its rib cage showing a waist and hips. Then try feeling its side. You should be able to feel the ribs without applying too much pressure on the chest. If you can’t feel its ribs easily or if your dog’s body is straight all the way from behind the shoulders to the hips (sausage shaped), with no visible waist or ribs, it may be overweight.

Overweight – note the sausage shape.

Correct weight – note the waist and hip area.  

 

Nothing to be embarrassed about……however you’ll want to help your dog live its longest most healthy life, so think about this.

Could you be overfeeding your dog? Dr. Barbara Royal, in her book, “The Royal Treatment, A Natural Approach to Wildly Healthy Pets” poses this question to know how much to feed – “How many times a day is your dog pooping?” Four, five, six times? “Your dog should be pooping once or twice a day.” The excessive pooping can be an indication that your dog constantly has a full GI tract, and this means they will not be able to use up its own fat and accordingly, it makes sense that they will have alot of waste.  If it’s pooping a lot, try feeding less.

A great benefit of feeding our brands, NutriSource, PureVita, Natural Planet Organics or Natural Planet, is that with our high quality, high nutrition pet food, (meat as first ingredients, great minerals, no corn, wheat, soy, or byproducts), you can feed your dog less than you would with foods loaded with lots of plant proteins and your dog will still be satisfied and getting the proper nutrition.

But I’m following your feeding guidelines, you might say. Please know that pet food feeding guidelines from any of the pet food manufacturers, are not meant to be the gospel for every dog. They are guidelines after all and meant for the average, active dog. You have to take into consideration how active your own dog is, the breed, and its individual body’s needs. If it is overweight, then adjust accordingly. This may mean feeding less than stated on the bag. You may want to talk to your vet more about this.

Yes, your dog can lose weight simply from eating less food but will more greatly benefit, from more exercise. You’ve probably been told this a million times and may feel guilty that you’re not walking your dog as much as you should. Can’t jog your dog? Don’t give up. There are other ways to give your dog some great exercise.

Next time, a fun, novel activity to exercise your dog.