You know it exists … but do you know the facts?
Hi everybody, Tucker here!
January is almost over.
So … let me ask you: How are your humans doing with their New Year’s resolutions?
Especially that one humans seem to make … every year.
Yep. The same one … every year.
And yet … humans are getting bigger and bigger.
Which means … if your humans are getting bigger, you probably are too.
Dog Obesity — What Are The Statistics?
My mom just read this report from a place called the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP).
But, here’s a quick summary.
It said … in 2017, dogs were even fatter than they were in 2016.
It said … 89.7 million of our best canine friends live here in the United States. And more than half of them are overweight!
It said … 56% of dogs in the USA need to lose weight. That’s 50.2 million dogs!
In other words … and I really can’t believe this: 1 out of every 2 dogs in the good ole USA needs to lose weight.
Holy Moly! That’s a doggone epidemic!
With those stats … it’s either you … or that big-boned bruiser next to you who needs to up their game.
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Obese
So … how can your human tell if you … their perfect fur-baby … is overweight … obese … or — here comes the f-word — just plain fat?
- Can they feel … and count … your ribs when they tickle you lightly on your sides?
- Do they see an hourglass figure when they look down at you?
- Does your belly slope upward when they look at you from the side?
If they can do … or see … all those, then you’re probably OK.
But … if they can’t count your ribs … if you look like a blimp … if your belly hangs low … well, then — you’re the overweight dog!
WARNING: if your belly drags on the ground … or even near the ground … you have belly fat.
Belly fat is DAN-GER-OUS!!! It’s a sign you could have other health problems too. Your human should take you to a vet for a checkup as soon as possible
Dog Obesity = Dog Health Problems
So … what’s the big deal with packing on the pounds? Aren’t fluffy dogs cuddly dogs?
Cuddly maybe, but let me warn you. Just like your humans — overweight dogs develop health problems like …
- high blood pressure
- kidney disease
That’s right, overweight dogs develop more cancers.
And … having any of these health problems means …
- you’re probably not going to live as long as your human wants you to live,
- you’re probably not going to be able to run and play with them like you did before, and
- you’ll probably have to take medicine every day.
So, as my mom says: “if you want a high-quality life full of fun and games, watch your weight!”
How To Treat Dog Obesity
OK … let’s get down to the nitty gritty. To the bare dog bones, as they say.
Your human checked you over. He (or she) thinks you have a weight problem. Now what?
Well, if …
- they can feel those ribs but not count them,
- your hour-glass figure is closer to a water glass, and
- your upward belly slope looks more like a straight line …
then cutting back on some calories … and increasing your activity might just do the trick.
Here’s how Lucy, who went from chihuahua to husky after too many dog treats at a local shelter, exercised her way back into shape.
- your human can’t feel your ribs,
- your hour-glass figure is a wine-goblet, and
- your belly sags near or on the floor …
you might have a thyroid problem. You need to see a doggy doctor for some help.
Here’s Honey’s story. She had low thyroid … along with some other problems … and, all I can say is … wow!
There are so many inspiring stories out there about our canine friends shedding excess pounds.
Here’s one more. It’s a favorite of me and my mom.
How one middle-aged, overweight dog saved his new owner’s life.
Pass me the Kleenex, please …
Well, that’s it for me.
I’ll share some more dog health and fitness tips next month.
Until then — walk on!
Tucker ~ the Maltese
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