Are you concerned about your dog being overweight?
A worrying 52 per cent of dogs in the UK are overweight according to the latest figures from the Pet Food Manufacturers Association.
But most owners struggle to see the signs and sadly being overweight can affect mobility, quality of life and life expectancy and lead to illnesses like arthritis, diabetes and heart conditions.
So how do you tell if your dog is overweight? This table from Nutriment explains what you need to do. https://www.nutriment.co.uk/3-tips-for-fighting-canine-flab/
Or you can run your hand over your dog’s rib cage - if you can feel the ribs, they are usually a healthy weight.
When you look at your dog from the side, the tummy should tuck up just before their back legs rather than droop down.
If you think your dog is overweight, the first person you should see is your vet. They can put together a diet and exercise plan.
Hydrotherapy can help too. Exercising in the water reduces stress on the joints which can really help overweight dogs.
It’s also fun, it doesn’t feel like a workout, and being in the water is something you can enjoy with your pet.
It’s a no-impact exercise so there’s no pain on the dog’s joints and because the water is warm, this increases their range of movement.
Because of the resistance of the water, having a five minute swim is the equivalent of a five mile run, as the dog has to work harder moving through the water.
Swimming sessions burn calories, increases muscle mass and helps the cardiovascular system too.
PIC OF BELLA BEFORE
I’ve been working with Chocolate Labrador Bella, seven, whose owner was concerned about her weight. She weighed 43.6kg, and her target weight is 33kg.
Bella has arthritis, so it’s vital she loses weight because of the strain on her joints, and as a young dog her owner wants her to be able to live life to the full.
While she was reticent at first, she now comes for weekly swimming sessions which she thoroughly enjoys.
Her owner says she is happier, her coat is shiny, she has a sparkle in her eyes, she’s more playful with other dogs, is able to go for longer walks and has a spring in her step again.
PIC OF BELLA IN POOL
Bella’s owner Lisa said: “We have noticed a huge difference in such a short time. Bella is like a puppy again and wants to play with other dogs.
“She enjoys the sessions. I don’t think I was aware of how much pain she was in before, but now she is much brighter and contented. It’s been fantastic to see the change in her.”
Are you concerned your dog might be overweight and would like to try hydrotherapy? We offer sessions with one of our therapists from just £30.
You can call in to see the facilities we have at Fit4DogsUk by calling 07849256736 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.