The latest survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention revealed that 55% of dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight, each equals around 80 million pets. And just like people, overweight pets are at a higher risk for health issues and have a decreased life expectancy - up to 2.5 years!
How to tell if your pet is overweight:
Healthy vs Overweight
-Feel ribs easily -Difficult to feel ribs under fat
-Tucked abdomen, not saggy -Saggy stomach, grab the fat
-Waist visible -No waistline
What to do if you suspect your pet is overweight:
Visit your vet for an evaluation to eliminate possibility of underlying medical condition and determine appropriate weight loss program to include food and exercise.
- Change your dog's diet gradually.
- Measure all food.
- Introduce a new regimen gradually
- Walk. BRISK walks. No stopping or sniffing on the way out, save that for return home. YOU should feel the pace.
- Move the food bowl
- Find a toy, ball, whatever to incentivize dog to play at least twice daily for 15 minutes
Change responses to begging for food
- No human food
- Distract with trip outside, car ride or play
- Treat with fresh veggies or greatly reduced snack size
- Feed small meals throughout the day
- Offer fresh water instead of food
Weight loss program will likely take 6-8 months on average. For additional information click here.
For information about adopting the puppy Snickers, go to the Clackamas County Dog Services webpage.