Did this headline get your attention? I hope so because despite a lot of media attention, dog obesity is STILL on the rise. This matters because while your dog isn’t considering how they look in a bikini, this obesity is costing him… and you.
In 2016, 1.3 million dog owners submitted over $60 million dollars in claims to cover “obesity-related diseases,” according to per pet insurer, Nationwide. (And this is just what was submitted to THEM. Most pet parents have no health insurance for their pets… so the dollar amount ACTUALLY spent on preventable and obesity-related diseases is much higher.)
Spending a ton of money on a pet health issue that is 100% preventable is bad. But, the miserable dog suffering from preventable health challenges is far worse. Here are just a few of the health conditions that are either related to your dog being overweight or complicated by your dog being overweight:
- Ligament or tendon injuries
- Congestive Heart Failure
That’s a very short and incomplete list, but you get the idea. If your pet is overweight, I want to help you. Please contact my office for a nutrition consultation and / or in office appointment. Until then, here’s an over-simplified two-step process to get YOUR pet’s weight going in the right direction, starting now:
Get Your Dog Some Daily Exercise.
Every dog needs exercise, but especially obese pets. Start a consistent routine of at least 20 minutes of daily exercise. Start today. A simple walk will do. Tossing a ball in the back yard is fun. I have one client who plays a game of tag with her dog. Do what you enjoy, and I know your dog will love it.
Feed Your Dog For Ideal Health.
In addition to the dangers of pet food recalls, packaged dog food also tends to provide a diet consisting mainly of CARBS. For obese dogs, Dr. Karen Becker suggests, “a homemade fresh food diet, comprised of lean meats, healthy fats and fibrous vegetables and low glycemic fruits as the only sources of carbohydrates.” I agree with the homemade fresh food diet, but cannot recommend the same diet for every dog. Your dog’s nutrition needs will differ from the nutrition needs of your neighbor’s dog, depending on age, weight, breed, health, activity level, etc. Still, her recommendation is a solid place to start.
Whatever you do, don’t “ignore” your dog’s increasing weight, as obesity is one of those conditions that will wreck havoc on your dog’s health… and your wallet.