A new survey has shown that more than 1.7 million UK pet owners have been told by their vet that their dogs are overweight. The report suggests that 12 per cent or 1 in 8 dogs are now obese, up from 8% last year.
The most common overweight breed is the Pug followed closely by the Boxer and Golden Retriever. What is truly shocking is that 75% of the Pugs seen by vets were classed as obese whilst 67% of Boxers. This means that 3 out of every 4 Pugs needs to lose weight.
These dogs are heading for serious health issues including a shorter lifespan, diabetes (and daily insulin injections), heart disease, breathing problems, teeth and gum problems and joint issues.
The most commonly identified culprit for obesity is giving too many treats or human food to our dogs but this is not the only reason.
It is imperative that we look at how we feed our dogs, what type of food we give them and in what quantities.
The choice of food and most importantly the amount of food given at each mealtime will have a significant effect on your dog’s weight. Just pouring them a cup of food irrespective of the brand of food is going to cause problems. All dog food brands differ so the amount needed to maintain weight will also differ. It is important to regularly weigh your dog and read the feeding guide on each brand you use. Remember that you should base the amount you feed on the ideal weight of your dog and not the current weight. If your dog is overweight you should be feeding less than the recommended amount.
Choosing the type of food can also help maintain a healthy food. Complete raw dog food offers an excellent option. It is free from additives and only contains fresh natural food designed for a dog’s digestive system. It is also easy to apportion the correct amount. Because the food is frozen it retains its freshness unlike kibble which starts to deteriorate as soon as you open the bag. Kibble also contains artificial ingredients which your dog was never designed to eat.