Sometimes the truth hurts. Today the truth is going to hurt some people, because we are going to talk about overweight dogs.

Most dogs that are obese are caused directly by overfeeding and lack of exercise, in other words, humans cause it. Sometimes it is just plain unintentional until we one day realize our pet is obese and now, we have to fix it.

Read that again, the hurtful part. Humans are the main cause of dog and cat obesity. We can do better.

Here are some health problems caused by pet obesity. Joint pain, diabetes, anal gland issues, Osteoarthritis, especially in the hip, High blood pressure, Orthopedic problems, cranial cruciate ligament injuries, Skin disease, Heart and Respiratory Disease, Decreased life expectancy. In addition, some “symptoms” of obesity can be excessive panting, always hot, lethargy, aggressive behaviors, incontinence, fecal incontinence, swollen joints, constant injuries, etc.

There is no reason to put our pets in these conditions when we control the main factors that cause obesity. In most pets, getting the weight off is extremely easy! How do we start?

1.      Reduce the food intake (switch to a high-quality food if not on one already) (do not free feed)

2.      Increase exercise slowly

That’s right. Those are the steps. To back track a little, some pets may have health conditions like thyroid problems that prevent them from losing weight or cause them to gain weight more easily than others. These problems should be treated but if you have an overweight pet and you reduce their food and increase the exercise and they do not start losing weight, this is when you would do some blood work to find out what may be going on.

You do not have to reduce their food all of the sudden. For example, if you are feeding 3 cups of food per day and your pet is obese, lets reduce that 2 cups per day for two weeks, then reduce to 1.5 cups per day for two weeks, and see what progress has been made.

What will you notice?

1.      Increased mood

2.      More active

3.      Stamina increasing

4.      Joint pain decreased

5.      Less health issues

Need help getting started? That is where we come in. We are more than happy to help you and your pet get healthy. We will make sure you are on a high-quality food that best fits their needs, and we can help you adjust their food intake. Even reducing the food and not adding exercise will greatly increase their health and happiness. A side note, usually you do not need to bother with weight management formulas, simply reducing their normal food intake will do fine. If they act especially hungry all the time, give them green beans as a snack or in their food. If they won’t eat the green bean, they aren’t hungry enough!

Pictured is Maggie Moo. She was obese when adopted from a rescue and went on her fitness journey. She is now fit and feels so much better! She experienced several torn ACLs while overweight, she also had less energy and was crankier, as well has had wrinkles that would get infected and a tail pocket that needed cleaned every single time she went to the bathroom. Now she is full of energy, loves to run and play, has not had any limping or other injuries since losing the weight, and has very few problems with her wrinkles and tail pocket!

Let’s do this together.

-         Roo’s Holistic Pet Supplies