Dog Overweight Health Problems: Prevention and Solutions

Written by Senior Editor Peter Gehr

Did you know that over half the dog population in the United States are clinically obese? This is most often a result of poor diet and lack of exercise. Dog overweight health problems: prevention and solutions are based on common sense, but in a lot of cases, it’s a matter of complete reeducation and lifestyle change. Even though pet owners are well-meaning, and love their dogs and want them to be happy and let them eat whatever they want to eat, sadly, this can often lead to a shortened life in addition to hefty vet bills as you try to nurse the pudgy pooch in its declining health.

Remember this: your dog is a dog, and not a human. Your dogs internal organs and processing systems and tolerances are totally different from that of a human being.

Of course, it’s so easy to spoil our pets, much the same as you want to spoil your kids, but getting back to the pith of the matter, human food is often totally unsuitable for pet consumption. Ice cream, sugar, chocolate, beer, avocado, tea and coffee, the list goes on. I’m sure that even from my short list here, you may be guilty of feeding at least one of these items, right?

Dog Overweight Health Problems: Prevention and Solutions

EL PASO- New research says that 55% of dogs and 54% of cats in the U.S. are obese or overweight according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

It seems like we might be giving our pets too many treats and not enough exercise. Bottom line is pets are battling excess weight and it can lead to serious health problems.

So how can you as a pet owner get your pet to lose that weight and eat better? Pet owners might treat cats and dogs like part of the family.

According to the American Pet Products Association, we spend on our pets just as if they were a member of the family too.

Pet experts say obesity is one of the biggest reasons for those rising vet bills. So how can you tell if you pet needs to lose a few? “I usually tell my clients it really doesn’t matter what the number is it matters whether they meet these three criteria in my mind, so as long as you can feel the ribs without having to dig into them, um you can have an hour glass figure from the last rib to the hip when you’re looking down on them and tucked in tummy,” says Vet Annette Davis.

Many owners think that by overfeeding and giving treats, they’re showing their pet love. But experts say the truth is you could be shortening their lives. Pets are susceptible to diseases just like we are.”Pets can get Diabetes and Pancreatic and Liver Disease and Kidney Disease and Heart Disease and all of those are made worse or brought on because of obesity.”

Starting a healthy lifestyle when the pets are young is so important. “Think that’s a perfect way to start your puppy so whenever they get older they’re already stronger and know what to do,” said Abraham Rocha. Abraham and his mom just got their puppy Bella a month ago. They say they only feed the dog twice a day and walk her twice a week.

Doctor Davis says everything in moderation is key. “Maintain a good diet, you know food that is dog food, not table food, not a whole lotta treats, a good exercise program.” Click here to visit the original source of this post

Dog overweight health problems: Prevention and solutions should be implemented immediately if it’s obvious that your dog is obese. Consult your vet and come up with a feeding and exercise regimen that will help your dog trim down to be normal again. This is going to take effort and persistence to the plan. A dog’s life is short enough as it is, so give them the opportunity to live a healthy and happy life by providing your pet with a balanced and species appropriate lifestyle.

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Sudden Dog Behavior Changes May Mean Health Issues

Written by Senior Editor Peter Gehr

Sudden Dog Behavior Changes May Mean Health Issues

Sudden Dog Behavior Changes May Mean Health Issues

Sudden dog behavior changes may mean health issues are present in your puppy. Of course, every time your pet acts abnormally it doesn’t always mean that there’s anything wrong at all, but the point of this article is to help you be aware and to keep track of any early warning signs that may be revealing themselves.

Dogs, and especially puppies are developing and learning all the time, and they are often experimenting with their bodies as to how fast they can run, how quick they can turn, how much they can eat, and a myriad of other developmental behavior that you will notice from the day your puppy enters your home—not to mention the funny antics and hilarious games they play.

Sudden Dog Behavior Changes May Mean Health Issues

Martin Deeley, a dog training expert expounds on some important points:

When you feel under the weather or have a disease of any nature, other people notice it. Your behavior, attitude, body language, and facial expressions change. Your friends may tell you, “You are not your usual self.” You may feel nervous in certain situations, irritable even aggressive and you may also make mistakes that you would not normally make. Plus, other behaviors can emerge that you have never had before. This can be the same for your dog.

Let’s look at some of the potential medical issues that could be causing your dog’s behavior problems:

Your dog could encounter hormonal imbalance and an increase in thyroid abnormalities for some dog breeds. With today’s technology, we do have the advantage of being able to identify these abnormalities much more easily and conveniently. Fearfulness, aggression, and altered brain function are some of the symptoms of hypothyroid disease. I personally had a young pup that tested normal, but she was continuously losing her fur and was not acting as I expected. A discussion with a good friend, who is also an excellent nutritionalist and has vast experience both in training, behavior and physical causes of bad behavior, advised me to change my dogs diet and to ask my vet if he would consider a low dose thyroid medication. You could also ask your vet to expand the thyroid panel, before attempting thyroid drug trial. (Such a trial can have hyperthyroid effects if there really is normal thyroid function). My vet agreed and recommended a low dose, which improved my dog’s condition dramatically over two weeks.

Parasites can create internal disorders and these are often the prime cause of behavior changes. Therefore regular worming for parasites is essential, especially heartworm. It has not been uncommon for me to notice a client’s dog has tapeworm when they come in for Board and Train. The owners did not realize there was an infestation because either they had not made an effort to pick up the feces immediately, or the dog had defecated in bushes where they never saw it.

Tapeworm is more easily identified. It shows mainly first thing in the morning where it can be seen quite clearly as what looks like moving white rice grains in the feces. Some breeds can experience chronic bowel syndrome, pancreatitis and have food allergies. In fact, we are seeing more allergies that create skin problems and internal disorders more today than ever before. The discomfort can initiate unpleasant behaviors.

Heart problems, bacterial and viral diseases, and stress can also play a part in affecting a dogs behavior. Pain and discomfort is probably the most common reason for unwanted behavior. I started off by saying we do not behave as we normally would when we are feeling ‘under the weather’ or in pain, and your dog is no different. (Original story here)

Sudden dog behavior changes may mean health issues, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them if repeated or uncharacteristic behavior continues. No need to run to the vet every time your puppy hiccups, but if an active puppy is acting lethargic, or a passive puppy acts aggressive for no apparent reason, these may be signs of problems that you need to address. A dog cannot tell you he is sick in words, but he can certainly tell you by his actions.

 

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