Veterinarian Dr. Denise Elliott DVM, PhD of Banfield Pet Hospital in Portland, Oregon recently published a report noting that diabetes is on the rise in our pets. This disease can include symptoms of excessive urination, increased thirst, lethargy and sudden blindness. Surgery and anesthesia are even more hazardous for your pet if they must have undergo these procedures, for instance when spaying/neutering your pet.
Did you know that diabetes is closely tied to obesity and often requires lifelong veterinary treatment? Obesity in dogs has many other negative implications:
Obesity can lead to further complications such as cardiovascular disease, skeletal problems such as hip dysplasia, spinal compression, eventual pain, lameness, and a lack of agility.
Musculoskeletal problems greatly influence a dog’s ability to exercise thus contributing to further weight gain and weight-related problems, and – just as in humans – lack of physical exercise affects emotional, endocrine, and neurological states of your dog. .
It is estimated that 95% of digestive issues leading to vomiting and diarrhea are actually caused by overeating and making poor diet choices for your pet. Balancing fats, proteins and reduced carbohydrates along with the necessary enzymes for digestion are essential for weight control and overall health. Avoid grains and unnatural food products not intended for animals, which can exacerbate diabetes, bone and skeletal problems, digestive issues and of course gum disease.
What Can I Do To Protect My Dog Against Canine Obesity?
We tend to feed our pets like we feed ourselves. The result is that an overwhelming amount of both humans and pets in this country have become obese.
In the US, it is estimated that 20 to 40% of all dogs are considered obese. This, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics of 33.9 percent of adults over the age of 20 being obese, creates an alarming picture of this nation’s health. The biggest difference between the two scenarios is that a human can make a choice on what they should eat, whereby the dog is forced to consume what is given to them.
A dog whose weight is controlled may not exhibit the symptoms of an overweight dog and as a result will feel good, be mentally sharp, have more energy, and be better able to give affection.
As your pet’s guardian it is important to give them the best chance of living a long and healthy life. Though some find feeding a high-quality BARF diet a big investment in the beginning, you will find that the cost of medical treatment, x-rays, labs, teeth cleaning, expensive medical complications that lead to surgical interventions, etc. should be dramatically reduced and/or eliminated. This notable reduction makes pet ownership the joy it was meant to be.
It’s not that hard to keep your pet’s weight in order if you stick to a feeding routine and controlled diet. Also check out my five tips for preventing pet obesity. If you follow this advice, you will have yourself with a healthy, happy animal that will perhaps enjoy a longer life and maintain a healthy weight for the long haul.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.