Dog Nutrition: Is your Dog Obese?

Make Sure that your Dog's Weight is in Line with his Size and Age

Pet owners sometimes don't realize that those extra treats that they are offering
their pets are not all that good.

In turn, over time, health issues can result. Many pet insurance claims, in fact, are
directly correlated to pet obesity.

Therefore, make sure that your dog's diet is nutritionally sound and provides the right
amount of calories for his breed and age. For instance, the ideal weight for specific
breeds are as follows:

-- Larger breed such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, or Boxers should weigh between 55 to 80 pounds.
-- Small dogs, such as Shiih Tzus, should weigh from around 8 pounds to no more than 18 pounds.
-- Very small dogs, such as Yorkshire Terriers, are considered obese if they top the scales at eight pounds or more.

Other Clues that your Pet Needs to Lose Weight

In addition, your pet should also go on a diet if:

-- His ribs can't be felt
-- He has a sagging stomach
-- His waist can't be seen
-- His back is wide and flat

Make an Appointment with your Veterinarian to Treat your Dog's Obesity
(or to Rule out any Disorders that can Cause a Weight Gain)

If you have determined that your dog is overweight, then you'll next need to make an appointment with your veterinarian in order to establish a diet plan that will help your dog reduce his calorie intake. Also, by making an appointment for your dog, you can rule out any diseases that can cause a weight gain, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing's Disease.

Once a Diet has been Established, Make sure it is Followed

Once you do establish a diet plan with your vet, it's important that you follow the new regimen. Introduce the new food gradually to your dog and make sure that you measure the portions. Successful weight loss for your dog is the same as it is for humans. Diets must be followed and a regular routine of exercise must be established and maintained.

Take Note of your Dog's Consumption of Calories for his Age and Breed

Naturally, the amount of calories your dog consumes will vary depending on his age and breed. Dogs that are larger that stay inside most of the time typically require about 800 calories per day while smaller indoor dogs should consume in the neighborhood of 250 calories on a daily basis. The calorie consumption should be slightly lower for senior dogs as their activity level decreases with age.

Set up a Regular Routine of Exercise with your Pet

You can add to your dog's amount of exercise by engaging him, for instance, in such dog-friendly activities such as Catch. Play with him fifteen minutes at a time twice a day. In addition to this type of playful exercise, make sure that you walk with him each day as well. Begin by taking a brisk 15-minute per mile walk with your pet. Stick with this faster pace for about ten minutes. Don't allow your pet to stop during this period. Only after you've walked for ten minutes can you slow your pace and allow your dog to stop, say, to mark his territory.