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Being Overweight Shaves Nearly a Year from Your Dog’s Life, Especially in These 5 Breeds

Story at-a-glance

  • Recent research suggests that dogs that are overweight at middle age may not live as long as dogs of normal weight.
  • A study of approximately 5,500 dogs from 10 different breeds showed that those who are overweight at middle age can have their lives cut short by up to 10 months. This is especially prevalent in certain breeds, including Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles and Shih Tzus.
  • Overweight dogs can also suffer from a long list of costly obesity-related conditions that can compromise their mobility and quality of life.
  • Orthopedic problems are occurring in ever-younger pets, and with greater severity, due to obesity. Dogs that are nearly immobile from a combination of weight and joint or bone problems are becoming commonplace.
  • Helping your dog achieve and maintain a healthy weight involves a combination of feeding species-appropriate nutrition in portion-controlled meals, and insuring your pet is getting plenty of regular exercise.

Overweight Dog

By Dr. Becker

If your dog is overweight or obese, you now have another huge incentive to help him slim down. According to recent research conducted by scientists from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in collaboration with Banfield Pet Hospital, being overweight shortens a dog’s lifespan.

Information was collected from veterinarians on approximately 5,500 pet dogs across 10 popular breeds throughout the U.S., using body condition scores for neutered male and spayed female dogs between 6.5 and 8.5 years of age.

The study results show that dogs that are overweight at middle age may not be around as long as those at a healthy weight. The research suggests that being too heavy can shave up to 10 months off a dog’s life, and this is particularly apparent in five breeds: the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel, Beagle and the Shih Tzu.

Overweight Dogs Also Acquire Devastating Obesity-Related Diseases

One thing the Waltham Centre study does not address is the quality of life of overweight and obese pets, many of which suffer from mobility problems and other obesity-related conditions for the final months of their lives.

Because so many pets are overweight these days, it’s common for veterinarians to see animals suffering from health conditions secondary to their obesity, including arthritis, hip dysplasia, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory problems, and kidney disease.

According to Petplan USA, in 2011, insurance claims for pets with diabetes increased over 250 percent from the prior year. Claims for heart disease rose over 30 percent, and for arthritic pets, nearly 350 percent. Orthopedic conditions are occurring in younger and younger pets, and with greater severity, because so many animals are overweight. Dogs that are nearly immobile from a combination of weight and joint or bone problems are becoming commonplace. Otherwise alert, healthy dogs are being euthanized because they simply can’t get around anymore, which destroys their quality of life.

How to Help a Heavy Dog Reach and Maintain His Ideal Weight

Excess weight on the relatively small sized body of a dog has serious and more immediate consequences than added weight on a human body. Couple that with the already short average lifespan of canines, and it’s easy to see how quickly and completely a dog’s life can be devastated by obesity.

If your dog is too heavy, isn’t it time to get him safely down to a healthy weight, so you can have him around as long as possible, and with a good quality of life?

My top three recommendations for helping an overweight pet lose weight:

  • Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet. Regardless of his weight, your dog still needs the right nutrition for his species, which means food that is high in animal protein and moisture, with low or no grain content.
  • Practice portion control — usually a morning and evening meal, carefully measured. A high protein, low carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog. And don’t forget to factor in any calories from treats.
  • Regularly exercise your pet. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone.

For more information: "How to Help Your Chunky Dog Release Excess Pounds." 

Sharing Thanksgiving With Your Pets

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November 27, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bailey’s Not So Good Trip to the Groomer

Attached are some pictures of Bailey, our Yorkie.

Jean's Yorkie Bailey 3

Fall 2008

Jean's Yorkie Bailey

Baily and Maggie, part Shih Tzu and part Lab in fall 2010

We usually take Bailey for grooming about every 8 weeks or so. Otherwise his hair gets matted. In the winter, the snow gets packed in his fur and it becomes ice balls.

We took Bailey to PetSmart today to be groomed.  On the way home from the groomer, he kept rubbing his right eye. He seemed to be squinting too.

Jean's Yorkie Bailey 2

Baily… Don’t I look cute after being groomed?

He kept getting worse, so I called PetSmart and asked if anything had happened during the grooming session. They thought perhaps a hair had gotten in his eye. I also called our regular vet to see if he could be seen tomorrow, but they were booked.   
PetSmart offered that we could come in and they would flush his eye.

We took him into PetSmart before 5pm to get the eye flushed.  He laid down for a while and by 6pm his eye was swollen shut.

I called Pet Smart again and asked if there was anything they could do. They talked to the vet that they have in the store and told us to come ASAP before the vet closed.

The vet did a test and it showed that they had clipped his eye with the razor

The vet said they call it an ulcer of the eye in this situation. The test consisted of putting a drop of solution in Bailey’s eye and then checking under a blue light to see if the eye turned green, meaning he had been clipped.  His entire eye turned green, but the vet said the good thing was that the cut wasn’t very deep.

Poor little guy.  We have some medicine to put in his Bailey’s eye and he has to wear one of those collars for a week. We have an appointment to re-check it after a week.

“He’s gonna be alright, but it was a surprise to find out that these things do happen.  Who would think that taking your pet to the groomer could be so dangerous?”

PetSmart is picking up the bill for the vet.

Jean~

Good for PetSmart for stepping up to pay for the vet, but you have to wonder why the groomer wouldn’t have noticed that they clipped Bailey’s eye or at least that something was wrong and then have it checked by the in-house vet before sending him home?!?

My niece was a manager of one of PetSmart’s grooming salons and overall they do a good job, especially for a mega-chain, but accidents do happen and each facility and its management and staff is different. And taking your pet to a more expensive or high end salon does not mean they will be any better or that your pet will be any safer or better groomed!

It certainly is a reminder that we need to be vigilant and pay attention!!

h/t to Jean Stoner for sharing her and Bailey’s story

October 1, 2011 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pets | , , , | 2 Comments

How walking the dog beats going to a gym: It gives you EIGHT hours of exercise a week

Geri Halliwell

Geri Halliwell’s svelte figure may be down to the regular walks she takes with her pet shih-tzu Harry

For those who are keen to keep fit but low on motivation, a personal trainer is often the best option.

But the human version may not be the most effective.

Dog owners get more exercise walking their pet than someone with a gym membership, researchers have found.

On average they exercise the animal twice a day for 24 minutes each time – a total of five hours and 38 minutes a week, a study for the pet healthcare experts Bob Martin found.

On top of that, the average owner takes their dog out on three long walks each week, adding a further two hours and 33 minutes to the total.

Those without a dog spend an average of just one hour and 20 minutes a week exercising by going to the gym or heading out for a stroll or jog.

Worse still, almost half – 47 per cent – of non-pet owners admit they do absolutely no exercise whatsoever.

A spokesman for Bob Martin said: ‘A couple of short walks a day soon adds up and this research shows that it amounts to more time than people spend in the gym.’

The study of 5,000 Britons, including 3,000 dog owners, revealed that 57 per cent see walking the dog as their main form of exercise.

More than three quarters say they would rather take their pooch for a hike than go to the gym.

Some 86 per cent say they enjoy taking their pet out each day, with just 22 per cent saying they ever see it as a chore.

But only 16 per cent say they enjoy exercising in the gym, with almost 70 per cent considering it a chore they have to do rather than something they would like to do.

The survey showed that having a dog to walk actually encourages regular exercise with 60 per cent of pet owners saying they always go for a walk with their dog – even when time is precious.

But 46 per cent of gym-goers admit they often find other things to do to get out of doing exercise.

More than half of dog owners think walking their pet is a great way to meet new people.

The spokesman said: ‘Owning a dog makes us more healthy. The Government recommends 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise 3-5 times per week and it’s encouraging to see that dog walkers are exceeding this target and enjoying it at the same time.’

Source: OnlineMail – UK

Posted:  Just One More Pet

December 2, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, pet fun, Pets | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Dog Survey By iVillage

President-elect Obama promised his daughters a puppy if he won

Vote: What breed should the First Dog be?  

President-elect Obama promised his daughters a puppy if he won the election.  iVillage Survey asked:  What breed should the first-puppy be??

Results After 18,485 Votes:

1.  A Rescue Mutt

2.  A Goldendoodle

3.  Labrador Retriever

4.  Beagle (like LBJ)

5.  Maltese (don’t shed)

6.  Shih Tzu

7.  Boston Terrior

8.  French Poodle

November 6, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment