As many as one third of all dogs in the UK are classed as overweight or obese and this can have serious health consequences.
Obesity is associated with shortened lifespan, disease of the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, rheumatism and arthritis.An overweight dog cannot tolerate warm weather, is less able to exercise and will generally have less fun than one which is lean and healthy.
Fiona Firth, Head Nutritionist at Burns Pet Nutrition, highlights what you can do to help your dog detox too.
The easiest way to tell if your dog is overweight is by feeling the ribcage. The ribs should be easily and clearly felt with little flesh between the fingers when you pinch the skin. In January, many of us have plenty delicacies left over.
Biscuits and mince pies may still be occupying your surfaces – but don’t be tempted to dispose of them by ‘treating’ the dog!
What may seem like a reasonable treat to you, can in fact be quite damaging to your dog’s health. For example, one biscuit seems disciplined but to a dog, this is the equivalent of eating 10 biscuits!
The raisins can also be harmful. Dogs affected by raisin toxicosis can develop vomiting, lethargy or diarrhoea. As signs progress, dogs become increasingly dehydrated, can refuse to eat and may show a transient increase in urination followed by decreased or absent urination in later stages.
If you do want to give them leftovers, then vegetables are the best thing to give them.
An alternative gift for your pet is nice long walks!
In January, when we are all conscious of our diet, you and your dog can both benefit from leisurely strolls together. Your pet is bound to appreciate the extra attention and exercise, plus it benefits both your waistlines!