Weight Problems in Dogs

 

Chubby puppies are adorable and the fatter they are, the cuter they are. However, baby fat stops being cute when it leads to major health concerns. Studies indicate that an overweight pet is at high risk for a variety of weight-related health problems, such as thyroid problems, heart problems, and many other major illnesses.

An underweight pet must also be carefully monitored as sudden weight loss can signal a serious illness such as Diabetes. If you feel your pet has a weight problem, it is very important to first contact veterinarian.

There are many reasons a pet may be suffering from a weight problem and you need to consider all the factors contributing to it. What does the diet consist of? How much exercise is he/she getting? Are there any other health problems? How many high fat snacks are giving? How many times a day do you feed? These are all important questions in determining what may be causing the problem.

Below are suggestions on how to conquer weight issues.

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

A high quality diet is the most crucial ingredient to your pet's health. A commitment to diet -- as natural and high quality as possible -- will be well worth your efforts and any additional cost. A pet's diet has a direct correlation to health and longevity. By adding fresh foods, you will immediately see a shinier coat, less odor, fewer bowel movements, fewer digestive problems and many long-term health benefits. Purely Pets offers many recipes if you are interested in home cooking.

A homemade diet is best, however if this is not an option, a pet food containing two meat sources and whole grains is recommended. A diet of chicken meal, turkey meal, or lamb meal as the first ingredient is recommended along with WHOLE grains. For example: Chicken meal, turkey meal whole brown rice, whole barley, etc. versus, Chicken by-product meal, rice flour, corn gluten, etc.

Avoid foods containing synthetic preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol and ethoxyquin. Purely Pets offers foods containing high quality ingredients. We recommend Flint River Ranch or Azmira.

Structure Meal Times

When you feed one meal a day, your pet's body produces insulin. Insulin prevents fat cells from releasing fat into the bloodstream, where it can be picked up by other tissues and burned. In other words, high levels of insulin cause low levels of fat burning and high levels of fat storing, the reverse of what you may think. When insulin is not stable in the body, it throws the hormones and brain chemicals out of whack and in turn the body starts storing fat to save itself.

Therefore, feeding once a day can lead to many health problems such as hypoglycemia, diabetes, obesity, digestive disorders and many other problems.

It is extremely important to feed 3-4 times a day. When you feed several small meals a day, the body burns fat more effectively. By feeding more meals, you speed up the metabolism so they can burn more calories.

Therefore, I recommend the following feeding schedule:

Breakfast:
A high quality pet food or homemade food.

Lunch:
A healthy snack (snack ideas are listed below)

Midday:
Light Snack.

Dinner:
A high quality pet food or homemade food.

Before bed:
Light snack.

Snack Suggestions:

Carrot
Rice cake
Apple
Pear
Peach
Hard Boiled egg
Scrambled egg
Oatmeal
Low sodium saltine cracker with peanut butter
Cottage cheese
Plain yogurt
Celery
Homemade meatball
Chicken
Egg noodles
Exercise

Exercise helps with muscle development, digestion and overall health. A well-conditioned body will work and perform better and increase the ability to carry blood and oxygen to muscles. Exercising burns fat and increases your pet's metabolism.

Be sure your pet gets at least an hour of exercise everyday. However, age, health and weather should be taken into consideration when exercising. Do NOT over exercise older pets, or pets suffering from hypoglycemia, epilepsy, heart problems, etc. Pets suffer from exhaustion just as humans do.

Rule Out any other Health Problems

Rule out other health problems such as thyroid, Diabetes, Cancer, etc. A health problem may be leading to the weight loss or weight gain.

Article submitted by: © Darleen Rudnick (Biography & Additional Information)

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