Tomorrow is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day! BestBullySticks.com won’t shy away from an issue that needs to be addressed, especially when it comes to our dogs. That’s why we’re following the lead of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and sticking to the facts and dispelling the myths. You might be surprised by some of the statistics.
The 2010 Pet Obesity study conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that 43 million U.S. Dogs are estimated to be overweight or obese (16 million obese.) There are 77.5 million dogs in the U.S. This means 55.6% of all U.S. dogs are overweight or obese.
An overweight or obese dog is at risk for these serious health issues:
Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Heart and Respiratory Disease
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
Many Forms of Cancer
Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
Many dog owners simply make excuses for why their dog is overweight. Some dogs do have health issues that could cause weight gain, however, many veterinarians find pet obesity a hard subject to broach with their clients. Unfortunately, you just might fall into this category. Here are some excuses that dog owners give for their pet being overweight or obese. Here are the “buts.”
“But my dog doesn’t overeat. He eats very little each day!”
Overeating isn’t the only contributing factor to a dog’s weight issue. A sedentary lifestyle for your dog isn’t good because, just like you, bodies need to exert energy given by food. Dogs should be exercised each day to maintain healthy body functions. The life of a dog used to be one of work and now most dogs “work” through play, a walk or exercise with you!
“But my dog is always hungry!”
If you dog always acts hungry it’s because it’s either learned or instinctual. Your dog’s ancestors never knew exactly where their food was coming from, but your dog will usually get two meals a day. Discipline and a schedule is a good thing for your dog.
“But my dog will starve”/”I can’t bear to know my dog is suffering.”
If you are feeding your dog regularly, they won’t starve. If you put them on a diet they won’t starve. Overfeeding your dog is doing more harm than good because it puts the rest of their body in danger. Physical pain and discomfort from joints that are too weighted down from body fat is a terrible thing for your dog to endure. Do the right thing; alleviate your dog’s pain. It’s the best thing for them.
“But when my dog loses weight, everybody tells me they’re too thin!”
Your dog should have a clearly definable waist and you should be able to just see their ribs. The AKC states, “You should be able to feel the ribs below the surface of the skin without much padding.” read more…