Overweight Dogs

Overweight pets are common in countries where human
obesity affects a large proportion of the population. Approximately 40% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese, and
it is their most common nutritional disease. Overweight dogs also have a higher incidence of arthritis and heart disease.

When it comes to dangerously overweight dogs, more than one pet owner has been prosecuted under the law for cruelty to animals.
Two brothers were cited in 2006 for cruelty and neglect of their chocolate labrador, “who was allegedly made so overweight by his owners that he ‘looked like a seal’
and could barely waddle a few steps.” Obesity to the point of health impairment is enough of a concern that the Food and Drug Administration cleared Pfizer Inc. to market a drug called Slentrol for use in the estimated five per cent of U.S. dogs that are obese in January 2007.

Popular Breeds Most Susceptible to being Overweight:

  • Beagles
  • Cocker spaniels
  • Retrievers

Suggested Exercises:

  • Swimming: good for overweight or injured dogs because it is non-weight-bearing work, and it’s a good change of pace for healthy dogs, too.
  • Outdoor sports: fun activities for overweight dogs while getting a healthy workout.
    • Ball fetching
    • Jogging
    • Agility training
    • Frisbee
    • Flyball
    • Fetch
    • Soccer
  • Round-robin recall: good indoor game for overweight dogs that includes the whole family. Each family member goes into a separate room of the house, with treats in hand. One at a time, each person calls the dog by name with repeated, enthusiastic “Come!” commands. When the dog comes to the right person, he is rewarded with treats and praise. When the person with the dog gives an “All done” signal, the next family member begins calling.

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