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Content Image Exercise and overweight
Published 2010/12/09

Dogs, like people, benefit from exercise to help control weight and to maintain a healthy heart, lungs and muscle tissues.
As you exercise with your dog, consider its needs and present physical condition.

Leisurely walks may be best for an older dog, while a young puppy has a lot of energy for a vigorous exercise program. If your dog has more energy to expend than you do, teach it to fetch a ball or a Frisbee. The activity may be just right for you and a challenging exercise for your dog.
Keeping your dog on a leash gives you control when walking or running. As you walk your dog, train it to walk at your side to help control him so he won't jump on children or adults, frightening them or possibly injuring them. Proper training also keeps your dog from jumping on other dogs.

If you exercise at night, place a reflective collar on your dog and use a bright coloured leash to alert other people or cars of your approach. You should wear white or light-coloured clothing so you can also be seen.

Avoid exercising your dog immediately before or after it is fed. A full stomach may cause digestive upsets. Provide only small amounts of water before and right after exercise.

Weather conditions are important to take into consideration when exercising your pet. Dogs can suffer from frostbite and heat stroke just as people do. Remember that a dog's feet can be damaged by hot asphalt during the summer. Check your dog's feet for the presence of burrs, grass, thorns, rocks or ice and snow, all of which should be removed immediately.

Dogs with short, smooth hair coats may require the warmth of a dog coat or sweater when they go outside during cold weather.

If your dog has a history of medical problems, work with your veterinarian to plan an appropriate exercise program. If exercise makes your dog lame or if it tires easily, consult your veterinarian. Whatever exercise program you pursue, remember that your dog loves to spend time with you, and you can make that time special.

Exercise helps prevent and reduce overweight and obesity. Obesity is the number one nutritional disorder among dogs. Studies suggest that approximately 25 percent of the dogs presented to veterinary clinics are overweight. This extra weight puts your dog at risk for certain health problems involving the cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal systems. Knowing how to recognize the signs of obesity and taking corrective action is important. But more importantly, is knowing how to keep pets in good condition from the start, thus avoiding the development of obesity in the first place. Regardless of predisposing factors, the underlying cause of obesity in all animals is a excess of energy. The more your pet exercises, the more calories it burns and the less fat it accumulates. Take your dog's activity level into consideration when deciding how much food to feed him or her.

For those pets at risk of becoming overweight or for those animals already carrying extra kilograms, one or more of the following guidelines apply:

  • Eliminate table scraps and treats. These are often high in fat and calories which contribute to excessive intake;
  • It is best to measure the amount of food your animal receives than give him any amount. This helps keep the serving size consistent and prevents the natural tendency to pour a little extra in the bowl; • Increase the amount of exercise your pet receives. This can simply mean walking your dog or playing catch in the backyard more often;
  • Consider switching to a low-calorie or light pet food. These products are typically lower in fat and higher in fibre. This allows the owner to continue to serve a nice-sized portion while reducing the number of calories the pet actually intakes;
  • Consult a veterinarian before beginning any weight reduction program. The veterinarian will design a weight loss program for the individual pet and help identify specific problems and suggest alternatives along the way. It is also helpful to have the pet weighed periodically to track progress.

1st Choice All breeds, Weight Control, Chicken formula helps reduce those extra pounds your pet may have put on, through eliminating excess fat and maintaining muscle mass. This superior quality pet food is aiding to promote the optimal health of pets while reinforcing their immune system. Nevertheless, it is recommended you ask your vet about the best way to manage your pet weight lost program.

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