Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets. www.greytinspirations.com

Is your pet getting enough exercise?

Spring is finally here.  I know this because it’s been raining for a week where I live but we still have flowers.  The dogs are spending some time outside.  I have to go out and bring in their soggy toys.  So far the squeakers still work.  But when it’s too wet to go out the dogs have been having some epic play session in the living room…and in the dining room…and in the kitchen…and, well, you get the idea.  They’re dogs gone wild!  If I had a camera they would dance on tables for me.

 

I suppose my dogs are getting enough exercise but it’s not very structured.  Right now they’re in good weight.  No one is overweight or obese.  Taylor, who had lost some weight last summer, has gained weight and he’s in good shape.  He’s 12 and I cook for him a couple of times a week.  He gets mashed up chicken and sweet potatoes everyday in addition to the same dog food everyone else gets.  No matter what I’m doing, when he thinks it’s time for his extra meal he won’t give me any peace until I feed him.  I have to stand guard while he eats to hold the other dogs back.  I tell all of them that I will do the same for them when they’re old dogs.

 

2807890400_b11393ecaf1The truth is that an estimated 40 percent of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese.  Pfizer Animal Health found in a recent study that vets consider about 47 percent of their patients overweight or obese.  Only about 17 percent of owners thought their dogs were overweight or obese.  That’s a big difference.  Obviously vets and owners are not looking at the dogs the same way.

 

How can you tell if your dog is overweight?  You should be able to feel ribs.  Not see them — that’s too skinny.  But you should be able to feel ribs when you press your dog’s sides.  Your dog should have a waist or slight tuck up.  Most dogs are not supposed to be built like a sausage.  If your dog has rolls of fat that’s an indication that he’s overweight.  If your dog has respiratory problems then they could be the result of being overweight.  Walking from the yard to the house should not make your dog breathless.  If your dog waddles then you should waddle him right onto a diet.

 

One of the main causes of overweight and obesity in dogs is overfeeding.  Cutting back on food, feeding smaller portions, feeding less fattening treats will all help your dog lose some weight.  It’s not entirely an owner’s fault.  In many cases, if you follow the feeding directions on a bag of food you will be overfeeding your dog.  The best thing to do is to start off following the feeding directions and then to adjust the amount depending on how your dog gains or loses weight.  If you see that your dog is obviously gaining too much weight you should cut back the amount of food you’re feeding him.  If he objects to smaller portions you can add carrots or green beans to his food.  They can help fill him up without adding many calories to his diet.  Give your dog popcorn as a treat.  Most popcorn is low in calories.

 

You should also make sure that your dog is getting plenty of regular exercise.  Walks are a great way to help your dog get more exercise.  If you bike you can buy a springer attachment to let your dog trot along beside you.  Swimming is another great exercise that you and your dog can enjoy together.  Many joggers like to jog with their dog.  If you like to hike your dog can be a great companion.  Whatever activity you like to do yourself, see if there’s a way to include your dog.  He needs the exercise and the two of you can have a great time together.

 

Here’s a cool way one dog likes to get his exercise:

 

 

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May 6, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, General, Pets | , , , ,

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