What’S Making Your Puppy So Pudgy?
Your pup’s a pudgeball. There’s no denying it. You know about the dangers of pet obesity and you’re committed to getting your furry friend down to his fighting weight, but what exactly is making your puppy so pudgy?
We did some research and found five factors that could be contributing to your doggy's plus-size derriere.
You want to reward your pup for being such a great buddy, but think twice before you give him a packaged doggy treat. Many processed pet treats are caloric bombs. Dr Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and author of Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs are Getting Fatter, breaks down the numbers. "If you feed a 20 lb dog a single Purina Busy Bone Chew Treat Dental for Small/Medium Dogs, it contains 277 calories. A typical indoor pet dog needs only needs about 350 to 375 calories per day. If you feed that treat to your small dog, it's like an average adult drinking three 16 oz. McDonald's Chocolate Triple Shakes." Just like you do for yourself, you need to read the nutrition facts on everything you put in your pup's mouth.
While some human food is great for your dog, for example low cal snacks like carrots, keep your eyes on just how much people food your pooch is consuming. Every little scrap of human food you give him has to be added to his daily calorie total. "Letting the dog lick the family's plates after meals can add a whole bunch of calories to his daily intake; over time, that means more fat and less good health," Jean Hofve, DVM, holistic veterinarian and author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook warns.
Lindsay Stordahl, owner of Run That Mutt and blogger at ThatMutt.com, points to owners who work hours so long they can't give their pup the exercise time it needs. Working late happens, but there are services, like Stordahl's own Run That Mutt, that will pick up the slack when you're too busy to walk (or run) with your dog. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call a professional for help.
You might not know it, but spaying and neutering animals slows their metabolisms in a major way. Post-operation, a dog needs 10 to 20% less food according to Dr Justine Lee, veterinary specialist and author of It's a Dog's Life... but It's Your Carpet and It's a Cat's World... You Just Live in It. So talk to your vet after your dog's operation and adjust your dog's daily dish accordingly.
Many pet foods don't come with nutrition labels and their recommended servings definitely lean toward overfeeding your pet, warns Hofve. To be safe, you need to research your dog's food's nutritional information yourself and figure out what serving size is right for his needs.
Avoiding these five common pitfalls should help you get your pooch back into fighting shape. Remember, weight loss isn't easy, even for a pup, so give him some extra love during those diet days, even if there's less of him to love.
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