Do you worry that your dog is obese? Dogs are our best friends, family members, and constant companions. We love them dearly, and often show our affection through treating our pups to snacks and, occasionally, human food. While there is nothing wrong with giving your dog a treat from time to time, it is important that you take your pet’s weight and fitness as seriously as you do your own.
Rising dog obesity numbers
Dog obesity has been skyrocketing in recent years. It is now estimated that more than half of the dogs in the US are overweight or obese — 55.8% according to the 2018 survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). This is alarming because dogs at an unhealthy weight are prone to a number of health issues, including:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart and respiratory disease
- High blood pressure
- Decreased life expectancy
How to help your dog lose weight the healthy way
If you suspect your dog is overweight, check with your vet about the best ways to get your dog back to their ideal weight. You can start by switching to a food that is specially designed for weight loss. Limit snacks and treats to low calorie options. Most importantly, make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise to encourage weight loss. Dog running is a safe and effective way to encourage the excess pounds to melt away and build more muscle, which will help burn more calories, even when your pup is resting comfortably next to you. If your dog hasn’t been exercising regularly, start slowly, incorporating brisk walking with short jogging intervals, and increasing the length of the jogging gradually as your dog loses weight and their fitness increases.
The Fittest Dog is dedicated to tackling dog obesity in a healthy, balanced way. Contact us to find our how we can help your dog live a long and healthy life!