Check it out Washington, Minnesota, South Dakota, Utah, Colorado, and Nevada… You are in the top five states with the Porkiest Pups! Obesity rates have skyrocketed nationwide over the past five years. The obesity epidemic isn’t just about packing on the pounds; it also spikes the risk of developing deadly diseases. Banfield Pet Hospital conducted a report that analyzed two million dogs per year between 2001 and 2006. These findings reveal that American pets are having their own obesity epidemic, with the number of overweight and obese canines seen by vets increasing by nearly 40 percent in the last five years.
Many chronic conditions have continued to increase, in some instances at an alarming rate. The overweight and obesity findings are some of the most concerning. When pets are diagnosed as overweight, their waistline is not the only concern; the condition is associated with other serious diseases such as arthritis, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and hypothyroidism.
How can you tell if your dog is overweight? The easiest way to tell is just by looking at them! Can their ribs, spine, and hip bones barely be felt when touching their body? Does your dog not have a defined waistline? Is belly fat noticeable? If any of these pertain to your dog, they are overweight!
So, what is fattening all those dogs up? The main cause is people food. To keep pets at a healthy weight, the treats they receive each day should be limited to less than 10 percent of their daily caloric requirements. When treats are given, the amount of food fed each day should then be reduced by 10 percent…. Pet owners do not realize that even in small quantities, human food can represent a large percent of a pet’s daily caloric requirement. The 114 calories in one ounce of cheese and the 147 calories in a single beef hot dog make up a whopping 33 and 43 percent, respectively, of a small dog’s daily caloric requirement.
If you do have an overweight pooch, what should you do? First off take out people food (table scraps). Lower your dog’s daily calorie intake by changing the dog food to a diet formula, or just changing the amount they are already being fed. Increasing fiber or water intake may sometimes be necessary to satiate your dog. Increasing exercise will be a huge help to get the access weight off. Take your dog for a short walk and build to longer walks, anything helps!
Given the animal obesity epidemic, it’s no surprise that the prevalence of canine arthritis has soared 38 percent in the last five years. Rates of other diseases have increased as well. Even so, 76 percent of dog owners remain in denial and “believe their pet is just the right weight.”
Looks like that 76 percent could use a good run in the park — as could we all.
Thank you to Dogster for providing some of the information above…