Canines never fret about bikini season but keeping your dog’s weight in check should be a year-round priority for many reasons. Longevity, ease of movement and avoidance of health problems and disease are just a few of the benefits that fit canines enjoy. This series will highlight the pitfalls of overly wide girths, how to figure what “fit” is and offer tips to get and keep your hound at a healthy weight.
While San Francisco is ranked as the sixth healthiest city in the country in 2011 by the American Fitness Index, that doesn’t mean local pooches aren’t pudgy. According to a 2010 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention(APOP), nationally 35% of canines are overweight while an additional 21.6% are considered obese. A dog is considered clinically obese when it weighs over 30% of normal body weight, for example when a 65 pound Labrador Retriever tips the scales at 85 pounds. Not surprisingly, many pet owners are unaware of correct canine body weight and don’t consider their dog overweight. The problem is becoming so pervasive that on the website for Pets Unlimited, a San Francisco based veterinary clinic and shelter, four articles relating to canine obesity and weight loss are featured.
With human rates of obesity soaring, it’s alarming that this trend seems to be shared with “Man’s best friend” along with the associated health risks. Overweight dogs, just like humans, are much more likely to suffer from diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart and respiratory disease, cranial cruciate ligament injuries and most heart-breaking of all, a shortened lifespan. There’s no doubt you love your pooch, even if they’ve got a little belly “pooch” of their own, so take steps now to improve their health and keep them your constant companion for a long, long time.
Subscribe now to get new articles, hot off the press into your inbox. Your comments, questions or suggestions for article topics are appreciated, please leave them in the section below.