Just like us, it’s easy for dogs to put on a few extra pounds if they consume too many calories and aren’t getting enough exercise, particularly as they get older. Recent studies have shown that canine obesity is becoming a serious problem in the UK whereby 1 in 3 dogs is overweight or obese.*
I have to admit that from time to time I am guilty of feeding my dog human snacks as a treat or reward. What I didn’t realise is that, as shown in the graphic below, what we consider a an insignificant snack – a McVities digestive, for example – given to a small dog as a treat, would take it over its recommended daily calorie intake by 19%, assuming it got its required amount from dog food (as you would expect)! Perhaps this would be OK as a one off, but two or three times a week could be the start of a slippery slope towards canine obesity.
As a therapist, part of my job is to help dogs to regain, maintain and improve their mobility. Carrying extra weight will have a detrimental effect on the joints, causing pain, and no amount of massage therapy will ‘fix’ this. Not only is mobility compromised when a dog is overweight, but those extra pounds place additional demands on virtually all their body’s organs, sometimes with significant consequences.
Food for thought.
The infographic above comes courtesy of Vetsure.