The state of “man’s best friend” reflects our own culture. Our dogs live as we do, active or not, and their health is a direct mirror image of our own. The obesity problem in the country is not bound to humans; instead the lifestyle we lead our dogs lead as well, and increasingly our dogs are susceptible to the same health problems as we are.
Obesity is easily recognized in dogs. A heavy Chihuahua is easier to spot than a heavy Labrador. Some dog breeds are naturally stockier than others; a trained veterinary eye can spot the difference, however, and dog owners need to be diligent in obeying the advice of the veterinary when it comes to an acceptable healthy weight for the dog.
Dogs evolved from wolves several thousand years ago, and have shared our food, shelter, and lifestyle as a result of domestication. Dogs still retain some aspects of their ancestors, however, and require physical activity daily for health and muscle mass. Choosing a family dog to fit your lifestyle and not trying the change the dog to fit yours is the first step in ensuring the dog will get what he needs from you. Trying to make a Husky into a couch potato is not going to work, and will only frustrate you and the dog. Contrary to popular belief, thinking an energetic breed of dog will persuade the owner to exercise more is a myth.
The obesity problem with dogs really stems from the owner’s lifestyle, as no one is to blame except the owner. Exercise, as with humans, is the crucial element in maintaining a healthy weight. Do research on the breed of dog you have and learn his/her exercise needs. Exercise can be as simple as a walk around the block, a trip to the dog park once or twice a week, or some play time in the yard.
Excess weight in dogs can also be controlled by nutrition. Examine the nutritional facts on the back of the dog food package and look at the ingredients and percentages. Again, compared to human diets, the dog should be minimizing the fat intake and increasing the protein intake (but not too high) to help their body regain the muscle or maintain it. This only applies to adult dogs, however, as puppies have different nutritional needs and veterinary instructions should be followed precisely. Some dogs may have food allergies as well, and that must be taken into consideration when trying to eliminate reasons for the extra weight. It is important that as a dog owner, you know the right ways on how to deal with the certain condition of your dog. Above all, his or her safety and health should always be your number one priority. You can go to this website for useful reference.
Basically the same principles apply in dog obesity as human obesity. No new diet or scientific research is going to change the fact that exercise and nutrition are the key components of a healthy dog (and person). Fortunately enough, our furry friends are the forgiving sort, and can lose weight faster than humans, so any extra weight on Fido can be remedied with some work.