• Shannon Hellyer Gibson

Fat Dogs

Ok I haven’t written for a while as I tend to need a bit of a rant to write anything interesting. So my rant today is fat dogs. There I said it, fat dogs. If you can balance a dinner plate (or two) on your dog’s back than this one is for you. There has been a trend in the pack of late of dogs gaining weight. I’m not just talking about a pound or so, I’m talking about some serious weight gain! We may think our dogs feel loved more when we give them an extra scoop of food or several cookies a day but really a kiss, cuddle or adventure hike does so much more for them.

An overweight dog is more susceptible to join pain, torn ligaments and shorter life spans. If you are not sure of your dog’s ideal weight please consult with your veterinarian or your breed standard guide from the CKC.

As a general rule you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs as if they were wearing a t shirt…not a PARKA! The guide on the back of your dog food bag is just that, a guide. For my terriers it says 2 cups per day, for my Shepherd its 6 cups per day. I guarantee you if they got that they would be waddling down the street and I would be getting an earful from my vet! If your dog is dealing with an injury that is limiting their exercise you need to reduce their food accordingly. If you dog has been recently spayed or neutered their metabolism will slow by up to 30% so their food should also be cut back to match the slow down.

If your dog is especially great at making starvation eyes at you, you can help them and yourself by adding pumpkin or green beans to add a fibre filling but a low calorie topping. Some dogs look at an extra piece of kibble and gain 5lbs so this is a great way to help them lose those extra pounds.

Please know that this rant comes from a place of genuine love and caring for each and every one of your pups. I don’t want to see an otherwise healthy young dog blow their ACL because they are carrying too much weight or see a middle age dog deal with fatty lumps or arthritis before their time. Your dog will still love you, I promise!

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