October 12th is National Pet Obesity Day, designed to make pet owners across the country more aware of the dangers of their pets weight and overall health, along with providing them with the knowledge and insight they need to combat these issues. This is particularly important when you consider the fact that 56 million cats and 50 million dogs in the US are obese, according to the American Pet Products Association.
What are the dangers of my dog being overweight or obese?
Obesity in dogs makes them more vulnerable to a range of health complications that could shorten their lifespan or decrease their quality of life. For example, obese dogs are more prone to respiratory conditions, heart disease, and even conditions such as cancer and diabetes. They’re also more likely to experience mobility issues, as excess weight places additional pressure on their joints.
What can I do to keep my dog healthy?
Many dog owners don’t think that a pup’s growing belly is anything to be concerned with. However, it’s important that you take steps to improve their health sooner, rather than later. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can achieve this goal.
Just as important for humans to avoid carbs, your pup needs to avoid them as well. While dogs should consume some carbohydrates, if your pup is eating food packed with carbs, and low quality protein, this can lead to excess inflammation, which in turn impacts joints, muscles, cancer, etc.. This is because carbohydrates contain high levels of starch, which is broken down by humans through an enzyme we produce in our salvia called amylase. Dogs do not produce amylase in their saliva, making starchy foods even more difficult for them to digest.
Add good quality protein.
Ensuring your dog’s diet contains an adequate amount of good quality protein (not protein from dead, diseased or dying animals which many dog food companies use) is another great way to support better weight regulation. This is because protein is a great source of energy for dogs, giving them some extra pep in their step when heading out for a walk, or when playing indoors. Our Freeze Dried Raw products are a great way to introduce more protein to their diets. Make sure you add water and you will get a really good wholesome meal which will help your pup shed some pounds, and will also help with its overall happiness.
Choose healthy treats.
A staggering percentage of commercial dog treats are not actually that good for your dog. For example, they may be laden with carbs, or preservatives such as “sulfur dioxide and sodium and potassium sulfite, these can cause thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency” and other complications. At WholeDogz, we hand-pick every product in our store with your dog’s best intentions at heart. As a result, you can rest easy knowing that the treats you hand over to your dog not only taste great but are good for them too!
Don’t forget their veggies.
As humans, we’re often encouraged to get our 5-a-day and ensure that we eat enough veggies. As a result, its hardly surprising that they’re just as good for dogs! As such, you should ensure that your dog diets includes plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that can help them maintain a healthy-weight.
Keep your dog moving.
Dogs require exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight, no matter how much they appear to love sleeping and relaxing around the house. As a result, no matter how busy you get, you should take your dog for at least one long walk and make sure they also get some time in daycare if possible where they can shed lots of extra energy and pounds! . Outdoor games are also a great way to keep your pet healthy, so be sure to play fetch or throw around a ball at some point during the day. Fetch also helps to train your pup to come when called which you can reward with, you guessed it, some healthy treats! Finally, mental energy is also important for your pup, so pick up some puzzles, or hide some treats around the house and play hide and seek with your pup! They will be glad you did!