Weighing In On Pet Obesity
This week we’re shining a spotlight on pet obesity in light of Pet Obesity Awareness Day on 9 October.
We know many of us just can’t help but spoil our pooches with treats and maybe an extra cup of biscuits each day…especially when they look at you with puppy-dog eyes, but whilst this might bring them some temporary joy, in the long run this can cause some serious health issues and can leave your dog in pain and discomfort.
Did you know that approximately 40% of dogs in Australia are overweight or obese? This can increase their risk of many diseases and illnesses which is why it’s important that your four-legged friends are exercised regularly and have a healthy diet.
Some of the health problems overweight and obese dogs suffer from is arthritis/joint pain, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer, heart disease and more – and it ultimately shortens their life.
Just like humans, food plays a very important role in maintaining a healthy weight for your dog. We know it can be hard to resist giving them that extra treat, but over-feeding or giving them an excessive amount of treats can be doing your beloved four-legged friend more harm than good.
Some of the causes of weight gain are:
- Overeating – Many commercial foods are loaded with salt and fat.
- Lack of exercise
Diet is key
With so many different foods to choose from, it can be hard to work out which brand or type of food is best for your four-legged friends. If your dog is overweight, but not in the obese category, it’s best to swap out their food for a low-fat, low salt option. We recommend SavourLife’s Adult Lite range, which is gluten and grain-free and has 20% less calories and 50% less fat in comparison with their other products. The Adult Lite range is also packed with natural prebiotic’s, fibre + omega 3 & 6 and has no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives…and, we can’t leave out the very generous work SavourLife does for the Australian rescue community – 50% of their profits go back into rescue!
If your dog is in the obese category, we recommend seeking advice from your Veterinarian to help with a weight management plan. Vet’s can recommend specific prescription-based food like Hills Science Diet R/D, which is designed to help keep your dog feeling full between meals, encourages fat burning and helps to maintain lean muscle mass.
Obese or Overweight?
Is your dog obese or overweight? Sometimes we can overlook a little extra weight and sometimes we may not want to admit that our dogs might be a little more than just ‘cuddly’. Whilst we recommend seeing your Vet to work out a plan for your dogs weight going forward, BlackHawk has created a great online weight health checker, which will help you work out what category your dog falls into. You can start your dog’s weight health check here: click here
*online weight health checker is to be used as a guide only – it’s always best to consult your Vet for more info.
It’s never too late to start making changes to your dog’s diet and exercise regime, so put the cheap supermarket treats down, swap them for a healthier option – we recommend SavourLife’s low-fat range of treats and get out into the sunshine and enjoy some one-on-one time with your best friend.
Regular exercise with your pooch is also beneficial for you too, and not just because it helps with your physical health but it also helps promote positive mental wellbeing too.
Exercising your canine friends helps to relieve stress and releases ‘happy’ chemicals that make you and your pooch happy on an emotional level as well feeling good on a physical level.