Updated: Aug 30
We all love our dogs and want to give them the best of everything. We want them to be happy and healthy. Part of that involves keeping them at a healthy weight. But sometimes, we can go too far, and our furry friends carry a few extra pounds. While a bit of pudge might not seem like a big deal, being overweight can be very dangerous for your pet. It can even be hard for pet parents to tell if their dog or cat is a little too heavy.
How to Tell If Your Pet Is Overweight
A good rule of thumb is the "rib test." Run your hands along your dog's or cat's sides. You should be able to feel their ribs without having to apply too much pressure. If you can't, it's time to reduce the treats and increase their exercise.
Another way to tell if your pet is overweight is by looking at them from above. You should be able to see a waistline when you look down at them. If their sides are straight or bulging, they carry too much weight.
Overfeeding Your Pet
One of the main reasons dogs and cats become overweight is because their pet guardians feed them too much. Most dog treats are high in fat, and many pet parents overdo it on treat giving. It's easy to do because we want to show our love with food, but it's not suitable for their health. Especially if you have a begging dog at your feet every time, you sit down to eat. But just because they want it doesn't mean they need it. Dogs only require a certain amount of calories daily; anything beyond that is just extra weight. Be sure to measure their food, and don't give in to those begging eyes.
When you're deciding on how much to feed your dog, there are a few factors to consider, including:
Their activity level
Whether they're spayed or neutered
Kind of diet they are on such as raw, kibble, or canned food.
Risks Associated With Overweight Animals
While being overweight might not seem like a big deal, it can be hazardous. Carrying extra weight puts a lot of strain on the body. Excess weight strains the heart and lungs, leading to serious health problems like arthritis, pancreatitis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Overweight dogs are also more likely to suffer from joint and respiratory problems. Not to mention, being overweight can make it harder for your dog to exercise and stay active. This can lead to a downward spiral of weight gain and poor health.
Getting Proper Food And Water
Another reason dogs or cats become overweight is the lack of proper nutrition. Animals require a balanced diet of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. If your pet is not getting the right amount of nutrients, it will start to crave more food. Ensure you are feeding your high-quality food appropriate for their age, activity level, and breed.
Water is also essential for your dog's health. Please ensure they always have fresh, clean water available at all times. Drinking enough water will help to keep them hydrated and prevent them from becoming overweight.
Certain Deficiencies Can Cause Pets to Become Overweight
One of the most common problems is a lack of protein. Protein is essential for muscle development and growth, so if your dog is not getting enough, it may start to put on weight. Another common deficiency that can cause obesity is a lack of omega-3 fatty acids. These are important for a healthy coat and skin; a lack of them can lead to dryness and flaking. This can make your dog more likely to overeat to get the necessary nutrients.
Dr. Joe Wallach, a world-renowned veterinarian, dedicated his life to helping animals and worked on many influential animal projects. Still, perhaps his most well-known is his work on the 90 essential nutrients that all animals need for optimum health. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, etc. If your pet is not getting enough of these nutrients, it can lead to several health problems, including obesity. Dr. Wallachi s the creator of the "90 essentials," a list of nutrients that he believes are essential for all animals and humans. These nutrients are divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are those that your dog needs in large quantities. Ensuring your dog is getting all the nutrients they need will help keep them find healthy weight and prevent obesity.
There are several ways to supplement your pet's diet if they are not getting enough of the proper nutrients. One way is to give them a daily supplement that includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and more. Giving your dog these essential nutrients can help them reach and maintain a healthy weight.
One of the best ways to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients they need is to give them a daily supplement.
Giving your dog these essential nutrients can help them reach and maintain a healthy weight. You can learn more about the 90 For Life pet products here.
Certain medical conditions can also cause weight gain.
-Lack of thyroid hormone
-Certain types of cancer
You may need help determining if there's a medical reason for the weight ga n. You can talk to a holistic veterinarian if you're concerned about your dog's weight.
Consider the Switch to a Raw Fed Diet For Your Pet
Switching to a raw-fed diet is key in ensuring that your dog or cat gets all the nutrients they need. This diet consists of raw meat, bones, vegetables, and organs. It's the closest thing to what your dog would eat in the wild, packed with essential nutrients for their health. This is how dogs and cats would eat in the wild, and it is the most natural and nutritious way for them to e t.
How Much to Feed Your Dog On A Raw Diet
These are general ratios that are a good base to start from:
-Puppies up to 3 months old - 5% to 10% of body weight per day
-Dogs 3 to 6 months old - 4% of body weight per day
-Adult dogs - 2% to 3% of body weight per day
-Senior dogs - 1% to 2% of body weight per day
These amounts are just guides. At the same time, every pet has individual needs and digestive functions based on their constitution s. Sometimes, deficiencies can lead to weight gain, weight loss, and even health issues. For example, not getting enough protein can cause a dog to become overweight, while not getting enough fat can cause a dog to become underweight. Not getting enough selenium can result in cardio-myopathy. The best way to determine how much to feed your pet is to talk to a qualified animal nutritionist or raw food coach before any veterinarian, especially since most veterinarians have little to no nutritional education. They can help you figure out the best diet for your dog based on their individual needs.
How Much To Feed A Cat On A Raw Diet
-Kittens up to 6 months old - 5% of body weight per day
-Adult cats - 2% to 3% of body weight per day
-Senior cats - 1% to 2% of body weight per day
Make sure your dog is getting proper food and water.
(See Perfectly Rawsome for raw meal education )
Feeding Fruit to Dogs Can Improve Health and Offset the Amount of Fat and Excess Protein In Their Diets
One way to help your dog get proper nutrients is to feed them fruit. Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can improve your dog's heal h. And, because fruits are lower in fat than many other foods, they can help offset the amount of fat in your dog's diet.
When feeding fruit to your dog, it's essential to keep the fruit and meat separate for better digestion and bioavailability. This is because fruits and meats require different enzymes for digestion. If you mix them, your dog's digestive system won't be able to properly break down the food, which can cause stomach aches and other problems with bio-availability.
There is a new trend, many pet guardians feed fruit meals several times a week as meals or daily snacks. Fruits have been noted to offer parasite prevention in animals in the wild. Fruits also have more water than most kibble or canned foods. Use fruits instead of commercial dog treat to lower their caloric intake.
Apples, blueberries, bananas, cantaloupe, cranberries, mangoes, papayas, strawberries, and watermelons are all safe for dogs to eat.
Provide Plenty of Exercise
Exercise is essential for all dogs and cats, but it's significant for those carrying a few extra pounds. A good exercise routine will help them shed the excess weight and keep it off for good. For cats, exercise can be as simple as playing with a toy or climbing a scratching post.
Depending on their energy level and what they enjoy, there are various ways to exercise your dog. Walking is always a good option, but you can also try running, playing fetch, or even swimming. If you have a backyard, letting your dog explore and run around while engaging with them is a great way to get them moving.
If your dog is overweight, consider switching to a raw diet. This is the closest thing to what your dog would eat in the wild, packed with essential nutrients for their heal h. You can also feed them fruit to help improve their health and offset the amount of fat in their diet. Finally, ensure you're giving them a daily supplement or added superfood to get all the nutrients they need. Superfoods like spirulina, chlorella, and wheatgrass are packed with nutrients that can help improve your dog's health.
Remember, supplementation with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can be necessary. Not all supplement companies are equal, so do your research. We recommend Youngevity' dog products for added supplementation and herbs. Animalgevity can help you with a protocol for your dog and cat.
When it comes to exercise, every dog is different. Some breeds need more exercise than others. A good exercise routine will help your dog shed the excess weight and keep it off for go d. There are plenty of ways to get your dog moving, so find what works best for them and make it a part of their daily routine.
You can help your dog slim down and enjoy a healthier, happier life with a little effort. The bottom line is that being overweight is dangerous. Following these tips can help your dog reach and maintain a healthy weight.
**The information in this article is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian.**