As I sat on my couch the other day, I looked at my dog as he was watching something out the window. WOW has he gotten fat!!! How did this happen? I suppose the surplus of treats every time he looks at me with those sad eyes that belong on a Sarah McLachlan commercial could have something to do with it. Or possibly the table scraps that he gets when I am eating? In my defense with the table scraps, it’s mainly to avoid the shoe laces of drool hanging from his mouth. I toss the food across the room in hopes that the drool will land somewhere other than my lap. The point is that like us humans, calories in pets can add up quickly! When we go to the grocery store, we pay attention to labels; how many calories, how much fat, trans fat, sodium, protein, etc. We need to be aware of these things for our pets as well. I am just as guilty as the next person of not paying attention to labels and giving my dog junk. We also need to admit that we have a problem. Too much love can lead to serious health issues for our pets.
Health issues stemming from obesity in pets are diabetes, lasting damage to your pet’s internal organs, bones, and joints — some of which can never be remedied even with a change in diet and exercise. Scared yet? I was. Here is a list of risks of obesity:
- Exercise intolerance/decreased stamina
- Respiratory compromise (breathing difficulty)
- Heat intolerance
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Diabetes or insulin resistance
- Liver disease or dysfunction
- Osteoarthritis (lameness)
- Increased surgical/anesthetic risk
- Lowered immune system function
- Increased risk of developing malignant tumors (cancer)
It looks like my dog is in for a rude awakening now. The days of Canine Carry Outs are over. We are moving on to broccoli, peas, cabbage, and carrots. This is going to be an adjustment for the whole family. All of us are going to have to be on top of this and its going to take a huge group effort to get his weight under control.
I have included a list of healthy treats for your dog. Please pay attention to your dog’s weight before it’s too late.
Whether you’re looking to slim down your pet’s waistline or are just looking for healthy alternatives to commercial pet treats, we’ve got a great list for you! Did you know that many of the fruits and vegetables you eat can also be given as treats to your pet? Just cut up pea-sized pieces for a healthy, low-calorie snack! Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that we recommend that are rich in antioxidants.
***GRAPES AND RAISINS CAN CAUSE KIDNEY DAMAGE FOR CATS AND DOGS, SO AVOID FEEDING THESE ENTIRELY. CITRUS FRUITS LIKE LEMONS, LIMES, AND GRAPEFRUIT AS WELL AS PERSIMMONS CAN CAUSE UPSET STOMACH!***
VEGETABLES: (may be fed raw or frozen)
- Green beans
- Sweet Potato
***NEVER FEED YOUR PET ONIONS OR GARLIC AS THEY ARE TOXIC ON ALL FORMS: COOKED, RAW, AND EVEN ONION POWDER! THESE CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE RED BLOOD CELLS, ULTIMATELY CAUSING THEM TO BURST. RHUBARB AND WILD MUSHROOMS ALSO CONTAIN TOXINS. WE SUGGEST AVOIDING CORN AS IT IS A COMMON ALLERGEN AMONG PETS.***