As a dog groomer I see dogs of all shapes and sizes, but recently I have noticed more and more of our dogs are becoming overweight. It is truly distressing to see what harm we are doing to our beloved pets, when my K9 clients struggle to stand during their groom, when they just have no energy, when they have sores and pain because of the extra weight they are carrying, every one of these things is unfair and unnecessary. Now I know the truth is we are not intentionally harming our dogs, however do we love them too much? I don’t intend to shame anyone for the love of their pet but I would like to educate owners on what a healthy dog looks like and the real dangers of K9 obesity.
So lets begin by getting familiar with what a healthy and unhealthy weight dog looks like.
An underweight dog the ribs can be easily felt or seen. When viewed from above there is an accentuated waist.
An ideal weight dog the ribs can be felt. When viewed from above a slight waist can be seen.
An overweight dog the ribs are difficult to feel. When viewed from above there is no waist.
Now we know what our dogs should and shouldn’t look like lets deal with our denial and get the excuses out of the way. Yes I’ve heard them all! He’s not that fat, She’s doesn’t like going for walks, It’s my wife’s fault she’s always feeding him, She’s a fussy eater she doesn’t eat that much. Let’s just say it’s nearly always someone else’s fault.
With the excuses out of the way lets take a look at some facts…
Between 2016 and 2017 dog owners attending seven different family/fun dog shows across the UK consented to having their dogs body condition score assessed. The data collected in this time showed 65% of adult dogs were overweight.
With this in mind I think its time we learn just what harm this is doing to our beloved pets because we really are killing our dogs with kindness!
We all want our dogs to be healthy and happy and I want to see your dogs getting the most out of life and you getting the most from your best friend. With mans best friend at risk to all of the above it’s time to take the problem seriously!
This isn’t just a lecture to make you feel bad, as I said it’s about education. Lets take a look at what we can do help our fury friends shed some pounds and improve their quality of life.
- Vets – Book your dog in for a health check with your veterinarian. They will be able to rule out any medical reasons for your dogs weight gain. They will also be able to give you valuable advice on nutrition and exercise to help you out.
- Diet – Feeding a good quality food, following the feeding guide on your food. Be sure to feed the amount for what your dog should weigh not their current weight.
- Exercise – Make sure your dog is getting daily outdoor exercise and an opportunity to run around and play. Walks are important not just for our dogs physical health but mental wellbeing too.
- Treats – Most commonly people feed the right amount of food at meal times but give too many treats. If you’re using food rewards in training don’t forget to deduct it from fluffy’s meal time. Don’t forget we can reward our dogs without food. Praise, fuss and play can be fantastic rewards to our dogs.
Don’t forget there is plenty of support, from your vets, from me, from many K9 professionals. You are not alone and we all want your dog to be happy, healthy and enjoying life.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments bellow and I will do my best to answer them. ✌️🐶