Write-up by Rick Dunn - Brand Evangelist - Dr. Kruger's Supplements
August 29, 2014
Calabash, N.C., March 12, 2013 – U.S. pet obesity rates continued to increase in 2012 with the number of overweight cats reaching an all-time high. The sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats to be overweight or obese by their veterinarian. That equals approximately 80 million U.S. dogs and cats at increased risk for weight-related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and many cancers.
Giving your pet extra treats, extra food, french fries, ice cream etc.. may seem like a good thing to do at the time especially when they look at you with those big eyes that just say "please give me some too". Combine this with dogs that get too little or no exercise and you have a recipe for disaster. Dogs that are overweight tend to add stress on bones and the ligaments and tendons of joints, making them more susceptible to traumatic injury. Fat dogs don’t ambulate as well; they become couch potatoes, resulting in “stuck” joints that cause the dog to want to lie about even more – a cycle that ultimately leads to a painfully immobile animal. These also often develop other unforeseen issues like skin problems, allergies, sensitivities, digestive disorders....
A fit dog should have an indented waist and the waist line should tuck-up slightly behind the ribs. (Remember that some breed standards may vary somewhat from this ideal.)
Dogs tend to put on fat over their shoulders, ribs, and hips and around the tail head. You should be able to feel individual ribs and the space between each rib, and the shoulder blades, hips, and tail head should be readily palpable.
From left: fit, fat, and obese
Most commercial dog foods simply contain too little meat-derived protein, too many grain-based carbohydrates, and too much fat. These foods also do not contain the necessary amounts of minerals and nutrients which will allow the dogs system to absorb what little benefits they do get form these foods.
I am sure you have heard the old saying by Benjamin Franklin "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" this is as true today as it was in 1736. There are 4 easy things you can do help your dog stay fit.
Exercise: 150 minutes per week is considered the minimal time necessary for maintaining body condition. That can be achieved through walking, playing, wrestling, chasing a ball and so on. I would recommend starting with exercising in short time periods to begin with and slowly work your way up to longer play times until you reach that 150 minute a week minimum target. This is not an overnight fix; it is a long term commitment.
- Proper Diet: Good quality dog food will certainly help, maintain a strict diet regiment, give treats in moderation and monitor your dog for any foreign matter or objects they might ingest.
- Do not over feed your dog: Dogs are generally fed based on their body weight or activity level. Stay true to these feeding formulas; having said that if your dog is use to getting a greater amount of food there are things you can do to augment the volume while you slowly reduce the intake to the proper amount their ideal size. Cottage Cheese, Yoghurt, Green Beans and other vegetables are acceptable as they are healthy choices without adding the extra calories that your dog does not need.
- Dr. Kruger's Supplements: when used daily provide the necessary vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, digestive enzymes, microbes and other probiotics for the health of your pet. Made from all natural ingredients, Dr. Kruger's Supplements provide a holistic approach to your pets heath helping your dog or cat absorb more nutrients from their diet. When used in combination with a healthy, organic food, Dr. Kruger's Supplements ensure better health through better digestion... naturally!
Rick Dunn is a former Registered Animal Technician, a former vet tech in a busy urban mixed animal practice and a life long pet lover.