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Canine Obesity

 

It may come as a surprise to pet parents but it is estimated that approximately 60% of dogs are considered obese or severely overweight according to the association for pet obesity prevention. Your dog is considered obese if they are 20% above their natural body weight. Canine obesity is one of the most common nutritional disorders seen in dogs.  Obesity is caused by an energy imbalance, consuming more energy (Calories) than they are expelling. This phenomenon is a result of overindulgence through incorrect portion control, lack of exercise and poor nutritional food choices. Just like obesity in humans this disability can cause a lot of unnecessary and often preventable symptoms such as:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart & Respiratory Disease
  • Joint & spinal strain
  • Irritability
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Heat or exercise intolerance
  • Hormone problems
  • Skin disease
  • Cancer
  • Reduced Life Expectancy

What to do if your dog is overweight?

Concerned about their dogs health it is strongly advisable that pet parents first consult with their vet to ensure that the excess weight is not the result of an underlying health problem or disease. Once they are satisfied that their dog is overweight the next step is to address behaviours in order to establish a sustainable weight loss plan.

Small changes with BIG results

The good news is that once pet parents take responsibility for their dogs weight they can begin to introduce small changes to their canine companion’s diet which will deliver BIG results. Obesity is caused by over consumption of energy (calories). This excess energy consumption compound over time resulting in excess weight which will lead to a host of avoidable health issues. Often these excess calories are a result of offering high fatty foods or sweet treats which are high in calories. Dogs over indulgencing on these type of treats can lead to excess weight gain. When treating your dog, pet parents feel better, but in reality we could be killing our dogs with kindness. FishDish are fully aware of this special bond between a pet parent and their best friend, that’s one of the reasons why we created FishDish. We want to allow pet parents to continue to nurture this special relationship and continue to reward their dog with nutritiously delicious healthy snacks that is not only good for your dog but pet parents can remain guilt free knowing they are helping improving their dog health.

Tips to prevent obesity

  1. Take Control – Pet Parents can take control by monitoring their canines meal portions.
  2. Daily calorie requirements – By gaining an understanding of their dog’s daily calorie requirements which will vary depending on your dog’s breed and size, pet parents have a reference point to monitor on a daily basis.
  3. Dog Food – Ensuring your dog food is fit for purpose and your dog is not allergic to any of the ingredients. Often low-quality dog foods contain cheap (filler, bulking agents) ingredients to minimize production costs which can cause food intolerances, tummy upsets, diarrhea and bloating.
  4. Low Calorie & Nutritional Dense Treats/Snacks – Everybody likes a treat and your dog is no different. It is our responsibility as pet parents that these treats are healthy and contributing to your pet in a positive way. Unfortunately pet parents continuously treat their dog too often with poor nutritional quality and high calorie treats. Regardless of the size of your dog treats or snacks should represent a maximum of 10% of your dog’s total calorie allowance
  5. Grab your lead – Introducing your dog to a daily exercise regime is not only good for your dog’s health but also that of the pet parents. Taking your dog for a brisk walk daily will help shift any unnecessary excess weight. Other activities could include swimming as this is very low impact but can burn a considerable amount of calories without placing stress on their joints. Good old fashioned ‘Fetch’ is a fun way to improve your dog’s health and strengthen that bond. FishDish Crunchy Cod Sticks are a very healthy snacks to start to play fetch with your best friend. Not only is it great for weight management but FishDish Crunchy Cod Sticks are also great for cleaning your dog’s teeth.