What You Should Know About Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Posted by Tiffany Brenner

Is that dog fat or just really fluffy? Chunky dogs may look cute, but so do trim and healthy ones. Just as with people, long-term obesity can pose a major health risk for dogs. 

The American Kennel Club reported that vets consider almost 60 percent of dogs in the United States obese or overweight. Learn how to help reduce this problem, even if it's just with one special dog at home.

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Obesity increases the risk for such serious medical issues as diabetes, heart problems, and severe arthritis.  To promote awareness of this largely preventable and increasingly common health risk, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention sponsors National Obesity Prevention Awareness Day. This year, APOP plans to mark October 13 as the special day.

During the entire month of October, the organization will conduct surveys of pet owners and vets to gather information about pet obesity and problems suffered by overweight and obese cats and dogs. Vets find that almost as many cats suffer from weight issues as dogs, and APOP also spreads awareness of this issue.

In addition to conducting pet obesity surveys every year, APOP works with vets and other pet organizations to promote awareness of the problem of pet obesity and better weight management. The organization's board members have authored textbooks and peer-reviewed papers on the topic of pet obesity, plus developed guidelines for better weight management.

Keys to Better Weight Management for Dogs

How can pet parents tell that their dog needs more than just their hair trimmed? Simply follow these steps:

  • Look at the dog: Simply start by looking at them. Pet owners should see a defined waist and fairly straight flanks at a healthy weight.
  • Feel the dog's sides: A quick visual exam won't work with every dog. For instance, long, thick coats can obscure the pet's build. Pet owners can touch their dog's sides. They should not have to press hard to feel their pet's ribs.
  • Ask a professional: If in doubt, ask the vet for an opinion. 

The AKC says that weight management should begin with a better diet, but encouraging physical activity helps too. For one thing, pet food manufacturers often offer very general feeding guidelines. For instance, spayed, elderly, or sedentary pets burn fewer calories so they wouldn’t require the same serving size as a young, active pup would. Of course, the pet's problem might stem from too many treats between regular feedings.

What if the pet appears hungry with suggested feeding portions? Just as with people, the quantity of food doesn't always cause weight problems. Commercial dog food should provide pets with a balanced diet for a typical pet. 

How Can Pet Supplements Contribute to a Healthy Diet?

When pet parents decide to put their dog on a diet, they might feel concerned about skimping on some essential nutrients. Even with a healthy diet, pets may have particular needs for certain nutrients because of seasonal allergies, diseases, coats, or emotional sensitivities.

Moe's Healthy Pets makes quality supplements that taste great and promote proper nutritional balance for your pet to support the lifestyle of fit and happy dogs.

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