Overweight Dogs

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Overweight Americans--adults and children--are a well-known phenomena, but how about overweight dogs and cats? Are they as common? Clinical studies in recent years indicate that as many as 40 percent of America's domestic pets are overweight. Left to their own devices, they probably wouldn't be. Unfortunately, however, in the interests of their health and well-being we cannot let our overweight dogs roam outside on their own. Unfortunately, also, we think that dogs need to eat at least two meals daily. This is not so.

What to Do about Your Overweight Dog

If your dogs (or dog) are overweight, the first thing to do is to check that your overweight dogs do not have a thyroid problem. For now, let's presume they don't. What's called for is a change of lifestyle and change of diet. Both are up to you.

Recognizing the problem comes next. Is your dog a nibbler (who usually consumes far more calories in a day than those eating two meals only) or a beggar (who artfully cajoles treats throughout the day in addition to the two meals you already give him)? Perhaps you, with the best of intentions, just feed your dogs too much. Perhaps your dog is finicky, which usually means you have essentially trained it to eat the wrong foods.

Meat is at the top of the list. Dogs are natural carnivores. Along with meat comes exercise. Supplements are sometimes in order for overweight dogs. Essential fatty acids, for example, are as beneficial to dogs as they are to people. Your dog is fat, but may also be coming up short in terms of the dietary fats he needs.

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