Help Me Be Healthy, Help Me Live Longer

WOOF WOOF!! BOW WOW!! Oops sorry! I did not realize I was talking to you guys and not my friend Rusty. Hi, I am Bruno, the Labrador. I am 5 years old. It seems my dad and mom are quite busy these days with work and things that seem to never get done. Initially the whole family was crazy about me. They used to take me for walks and runs. They used to show me off to neighbors and friends.

As I grew older and they got busier, all this stopped. Now they hardly even have the time to take me for a walk. They fill my plate with fattening treats and stuff from the table that they eat. I’ve started putting on weight in my waist and hips. Earlier, I could sit back on my legs. Now, due to my weight, I slouch to the side. My chest hurts now and I have a hard time breathing too. My owners no longer take care of the quality of my food. They just get any dog food and pay no attention to the nutrients. Most of the dog foods are laden with fat and as a result I have developed lots of fatty tissues in my body. It is harder to walk these days as my legs ache from the extra pounds. I get out of breathe so easily now. My chances for disease are now increased as a result of the obesity. I wanted to help you learn to take care of your pets so that they will remain healthy, agile and have long lives.

Although fat dogs may seem cute, there could be a host of issues going on. Joint or locomotion difficulties, extra pounds put added stress on joints, bones, ligaments and muscles. Heart and respiratory disease, heart and lungs have to work harder to provide adequate oxygen and circulation. Also, extra fat in the chest cavity and around the heart muscle can decrease the efficiency of the heart and lungs. Diabetes, just like people, diabetes is much more common in obese dogs and cats. Liver disease, obese animals are prone to liver disease. Heat intolerance, excessive fat has insulating properties that makes obese animals uncomfortable and unable to tolerate heat. Skin problems, overweight animals often have trouble grooming themselves. The rolls of skin built up by fat deposits can often harbor dirt, bacteria and other harmful organisms. Gastrointestinal disorder, Pancreatitis is seen all too often in obese dogs. This condition is painful and life threatening.

Here are a few ways in which you can care for your dog so that they have a longer and better life:

1. Don’t let your dog become a couch potato. Take him out for a run everyday at least for 20 minutes otherwise he will put on weight.
2. Pay attention to the diet: Sometimes the printed dog food labels do not tell the entire story. Make sure that your canine friend has a diet rich in meat, vegetables and healthy ingredients. If you have started a weight loss food for dogs, make sure it is healthy. Don’t sacrifice nutrition at a time when the dog needs it the most as the weight comes off.
3. Exercise: If you find that you can’t take your dog out for a walk, then get a ball to throw a ball so that he can run and retrieve it.
4. Play: Dog love to play and enjoy your attention. Play games like racing, wrestling or fetch to burn calories.
5. Winter months: In the winter months if it becomes quite difficult to exercise with your dog, try to find indoor games.

Obesity, whether in humans or dogs can lead to a decreased life span.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Matthews studies health, nutrition and wellness. She enjoys writing articles on health for both people and pets. Please visit her site for more information on Lifes Abundance healthy weight loss food for dogs