Dog And Obesity

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Dogs and Obesity Obesity is one of the major health problems in dogs today. The Live-Longer Diet for Dogs and Cats states dogs twenty percent overweight are more likely to die prematurely than a dog of normal weight. Statistics show that there are forty-five million dogs in the United States and thirty to sixty percent of them are obese (p. 3).

There are many different types of dogs and each of them has their own ideal weight. The ideal weight for the toy breed can range from four to twelve pounds. A few dogs in this breed include the Chihuahua, Maltese and Toy Poodle. The Small breeds include the Boston Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, and the French Bulldog. All of these dogs have an ideal weight of fourteen to twenty-two pounds. Border Collies, Bull Dogs, and Chow Chows are all part of the medium-sized breed. These dogs weight around thirty-seven to sixty pounds.

The large breed such as the greyhound and boxer weigh fifty to seventy-five pounds (p. 45-51). The pet may be a mixed breed and it can sometimes be difficult to determine how much they are suppose to way. Dr. Howard Padwee, author of The Live-Longer Diet for Dogs and Cats suggest a person measure the dogs height form his shoulders. If the dog 5" to 11" tall it is classified in the toy breed, 12" to 16" in the small breed, 17" to 22" in the medium breed, and 23" to 25" in the large breed (p. 51).

A couple reasons for obesity include giving him leftovers and lack of exercise. The Idiot's Guide to Raising a Puppy states numerous of people would rather give Dorriety 2 their leftovers to the family dog than throw them away. This procedure is not only bad for the dog's health but encourages the dog to beg at the dinner table. It is better to waste some food then to have an obese dog (p. 258). Lack of exercise not only causes the dog to bounce of the walls but also frequently causes problems with obesity. A dog needs to move around, even if it is just to the water bowl. Veterinarians always say " "An overweight dog is not happy, nor healthy" (p.257).

Many dog owners do not realize their dig is overweight until it is too late. Some physical characteristics include fat on the ribs, a pendulous abdomen, and sluggishness. Fat on the ribs is the most obvious physical sign of obesity (The Live -Longer Diet for Dogs and Cats p. 27). One way to detect this is to touch the dog's chest lightly and firmly don't stroke but see if the ribs are able to be touched. If not then this is the first sign of obesity. Obese dogs have a pocket of fat hanging over their abdomen. A healthy dog at a proper weight should have a firm abdomen. Sluggishness is another clear sign of obesity in dogs. Overweight dogs tend to drag themselves around the house, want to sleep all the time, and react only to the sounds of food preparation (p.27).

There are also different degrees in obesity. If a dog is over ten percent above their ideal weight it is obese but not critical. Twenty to thirty percent over the ideal weight demands immediate reduction. As the percent of the body fat increases the dogs health is at more risk (p.54).

Dorriety 3 Obesity affects various parts of the dog's body. The heart and liver are the two organs most affected. An obese dog's heart must struggle to maintain adequate circulation to excess tissue. The infiltration of the heart muscles weakens the ability to keep the heart pumping. The liver, like the heart, is also taken over by fatty deposit. The liver can become so laden with fat it looks like a marbleized steak. All these fatty particles decrease the liver's ability to purify blood from poisonous waste (p. 30).

A pet's obesity it is usually due to overeating Dr. Howard Padwee suggest that dogs are taken to the veterinarian regularly for an examination. Also, putting dogs on the Live-Longer Diet ensures the dog a more healthier, fit life.

Some materials that are important to have are a postal scale, vitamins and supplements, a Girth chart, and a weight chart. It is important to feed a dog exact amount of food instead of estimating. There is no reason to run out and buy an expensive scale. All you need is a simple postal scale obtained at a stationary store. The biggest portion for the largest dog weighs less than two pounds. Vitamins and supplements are essential for dogs. Some recommended vitamins for dogs are Pet Tabs, Unipet Tablets, Unipet Powder, Caminal Flavortabs, and Geribits. The Girth chart simply helps keep progress of the dogs diet. In order to measure a dog's girth wrap the tape measure around his midriff at the point where his abdomen and rib cage meet. The weight chart is a very important part in organizing the dogs progress. The first step in setting up the weight chart is to determine how much Dorriety 4 weight the dog must lose and how many weeks it will take to achieve this goal. Make sure to weigh the dog everyday at the same time, preferably in the morning before he eats.

Veterinarians recommend several specialty meals to prepare for a dog. These meals are separated into meats or vegetables. The meet meals consist of beef, chicken, liver, and fish. There are various that one can prepare with the meats. Green beans and cottage cheese are the two most favorite choices amongst dogs (p. 64).

Besides eating right, exercise is also important. Dogs are just like people when it comes to exercise. Exercise improves muscle tone, which means the pet will have better balance and grace. Regular exercise stimulates the metabolism, which burns energy and acts as a natural deterrent to obesity. Dr. Padwee's message to owners is to keep dogs active.

To conclude, dogs need to be taken care of just like their owners. They too would like to stay handsome as long as possible. All conscientious owners should make sure their dogs are at an ideal weight and fit to ensure their health and happiness.