Is Your Dog A "Big" Dog? Or Overweight? Think About Diet and Exercise to Give Your Pooch a Long And Healthy Life

Posted on Apr 29th, 2010, 10:09 AM America/Los_Angeles

Obesity in dogs can be the root to many medical problems, particularly in older dogs: diabetes, bone and joint dysfunction such as dysplasia; disease of the heart, liver or lungs; cancer; decreased immune function, reproductive disorders and more.

If your dog is carrying extra weight, it is important that you bring them in to their veterinarian for a thorough exam to rule out thyroid and other conditions that can contribute to weight gain. Once medical conditions have been ruled out, then a weight loss strategy needs to be put into play. Here are a few ideas that can be very helpful:

Look at the food that you are feeding your dog. Is it high in protein and low in corn? If you are feeding a high quality food that is appropriate for your dogs size and age, consider increasing the number of times that you feed your pooch and consider adding warm water to expand the food and make them feel more satisfied with the food.

Do not feed your dog from the table. A few notable exceptions are foods such as carrots, celery, plain chicken and pumpkin which may be used to add fiber and protein while decreasing carbs.
This is one time when your dog should NOT be considered “part of the family.” They should eat their own food in their own bowls away from the family. Dogs should not be encouraged to loiter near the table during family meals.

Of course you want to spend quality time with your dog. Why not take a walk or play some ball? This is a great way for both of you to spend some time together and enjoy exercise and some fresh air.

For more tips on weight management for your dog, visit these great websites:

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1660&aid=694http://petcare.suite101.com/article.cfm/obesityindogsandcats

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