A happy healthy active pooch
I love when I have a request for a blog; I often sit and ponder for quite a while before deciding upon a topic. So as per request; chubby is the topic for today. Is your dog fat? How do you know if your dog is fat? I see alot of fat dogs around; and it always seems like the owner is the last to know. How can your dog be fat and you not know? I believe that many people don't really know what they are feeling; what is your dog suppose to feel like if they are in good shape. It's really tough to explain but I shall do my best.
Neoprene is a thin synthetic rubber substance which they use for wet suits, pouches, wine coolers etc. My weight lifting gloves are made of neoprene. Your dog should have a nice layer of neoprene over their ribs. You should be able to feel ribs; but with the smallest layer of sponge over them. For us; a neoprene layer on Luke is a goal. He is the pickiest eater we've ever had; so he is often missing the neoprene. Although as he ages; his lack of extra pounds will serve him well. Any extra weight that a dog carries is just that; extra. In January Tilley was hit by Vestibular disease which made it a neccessity for her to be carried both up and down all the steps in the house. This was like a giant ah ah moment for me as I had to lug her up and down the stairs. Tilley weighs in at around 45 lbs right now and I felt it in my knees. The impact of extra weight on my body was immediately obvious.
Keeping your dog on the lean side is so important for their health and joints; especially as they age. I have seen young dogs crippled by weight; a dog carrying a lot of extra weight can appear to be years older than they actually are. They are often sidelined; although they'd probably love to be in the middle of the action, these dogs may have to just watch the fun. I recently saw a hugely overweight dog at a park; the owner was obviously in denial about their dog, they just didn't see the dog as having any extra pounds on them. This is sad because other than some sort of health issue; a dog carrying extra weight is the owners fault. Overweight dogs are at risk of suffering from obesity health issues and a shortened life. These dogs have a higher chance of joint problems which can lead to severe arthritis. They can suffer from heart problems, gastrointestinal problems, respitory issues and even diabetes. With all of these health problems; there is also the sad reality that heavy dogs simply cannot enjoy life like they should.
Often particular breeds are expected to carry extra weight; Bulldogs, Labradors, Bassett Hounds, French Bulldogs, Dachshunds etc. No dog should be fat; they should have a wasteline and you should be able to feel their ribs, even the stockiest of breeds. It is a sad thing for a dog to carry extra weight; they simply do not have the ability to function as they should be able to. Having a heavy dog has a snowball effect; the heavier they are the less they move causing them to carry even more weight.
If you cannot feel your dog's ribs; then your dog is overweight. The only way to drop weight on a dog is to lower their calorie intake and get them moving. They must move; of course you must start moving them slowly to start. Just like with humans; a dog that is out of shape cannot be expected to run a marathon, it is extremely dangerous. So start by cutting calories and get out for a short walk. Unless your dogs has a health issue that is causing obesity; it is fairly easy to to get weight off of them.
It is all under your control; think lean. There is nothing kind about over feeding your dog; even though they may act as though they are starving. They give you those big puppy dog eyes and you cave. It is up to us to say "NO; I want you to live a long and healthy life." Loosing weight is typically much harder on an owner than a dog; but you must do it for your dog. You will never see a wild dog, fox, coyote or wolf that is chubby let alone obese. The problem is us; humans, we are the over feeders and under exercisers. If your dog is carrying extra weight; time to step it up and drop that fat. It's easy; you just have to do it.