Are You Making Your Dog Fat?

Are you making your dog fat?When you go to the grocery store do you check out the calories on the food you buy? I do and would like to think I try to purchase healthy food items and snacks for me and my family.

But what about your pet? But do you also check the calorie content of the snacks you buy your pet? Do you look for healthy food and treats for your best friend? If your dog is overweight, maybe you need to take a good look at what they are eating.

When I had my two youngest male Chihuahuas, Bill and Ted neutered, my Vet told me to be careful not to let them gain too much weight. She explained, because of the change in their hormone levels they may start to put on some pounds (or ounces actually for a Chihuahua.) This is not good for any dog but Chihuahuas are especially prone to knee problems and heart disease. The extra weight can be deadly.

Both dogs were very small and slender, especially little Ted. But they were already showing signs of knee issues so I was very careful about what I fed them. Regardless, they both started to gain weight. Little Ted was not so little anymore.

BILL - Chihuahuas are prone to knee problems and heart diseaseI had cut their breakfast and dinner in half, so what was I doing wrong? Then I realized they were getting too many treats. A piece here and there really added up. I had to pay more attention to what they were eating! So I looked for natural treats and low fat treats. I began breaking off smaller bits so they could feel like they were having a little something but they would be getting fewer calories.

Slowly we are taking off those extra ounces, but we still have a ways to go.

If you pet is overweight, pay attention to the treats you give!

TED - started to gain weight as his hormone levels changedAccording to an article in the Daily Mail (UK), “Pet owners are unwittingly giving their animals treats that contain the same level of calories as junk food like Big Macs and Dunkin Donuts. Many treats rival the calorie content of popular fast-food items for humans, whose recommended daily calorie intake is far higher, a study out today reveals.”

Although my dogs won’t touch vegetables or fruit, some people give their pets carrot sticks or apples for treats. However it’s best to check with your Vet first, some fruits and vegetables are not good for dogs such as grapes and raisins. Raw onions can be deadly.

Of course make sure you are giving your dog the correct amount of a healthy dog food for his regular meals. You can also ask your Vet about diet dog foods.

If your dog is still gaining weight, cut back on his portion size and make sure he is getting sufficient exercise. A nice walk is good for you and you pet.

Remember when you spay and neuter your dog, he may gain weight, pay attention to what you feed him. Also, older dogs should watch their calories too.

Just like humans, dogs need to eat healthy to stay healthy – and to live longer. According to a 14-year study done by Purina, “dogs fed to ideal body condition lived 1.8 years longer than their overweight litter mates.”

For more info, check out these resources:

DogFoodAdvisor’s Dog Food Calculator
WebMD : Healthy Treats for Your Dog
Caesar’s Way : How and when to give healthy dog treats
Animal Medical Center: Five Tips For Keeping Your Pet’s Weight Loss Resolution
Paws + Pushups : Is your dog too fat?
Ohio Sate University : Basic Calorie Calculator

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