RSVP Magazine

Dog obesity is on the rise. Is your dog obese?

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Worrying new research has revealed that as many as up to four million dogs in the UK are overweight.

The study reveals that one in four dog-owners have had to put their dog on a diet, with a third guilty of overfeeding their dog, according to the Mirror.

The research was undertaken by dog diet website, tails.com.

So what does obesity mean for your dog and how can you combat it?

A fat cat or a pot-bellied pup may be adorable, but the additional pounds your pet is carrying can cause them some serious health problems! By being over weight your pet is predisposed to:

  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory problems
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis

shutterstock_190792865 Several factors make obesity more likely in pets, E.g. for dogs:

  • Age – the risk increases with age.
  • Neuter status – neutered dogs are more at risk.
  • Sex – apart from older dogs, obesity is reported to be more common in females.
  • Owner – obese owners may be more likely to have obese dogs. It’s thought that this is because they are less likely to exercise their dog, or less able to recognise obesity.

To find out if your dog or cat is overweight, try these simple checks:

  • Can you see and feel the outline of your pet’s ribs without excess fat covering?
  •  Can you see and feel your pet’s waist and is it clearly visible when viewed from above?
  • Is  your pet’s belly tucked up when viewed from the side?

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If you think your pet may be overweight, here’s some easy ways you can tackle that extra pudge:

  1. Don’t let your pet graze. Set your pet’s food bowl down and leave it there for 20 minutes. If it’s not finished in that time, take what’s left away.
  2. Dogs should get between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. This can be a walk, run, swim or ball game.
  3. Treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily diet.
  4. Avoid feeding pets ‘human food’. Food like avocado, dough and chocolate can be very dangerous if eaten by animals.

Of course, reducing the body weight of your dog or cat improves and extends their life quality, but it can improve yours too! Walking your dog is a great way of getting the recommended amount of daily activity you need to stay healthy.

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