Weight Management for Dogs – Who or What is Responsible?

Weight management for dogs is extremely important, just as it is with humans.  Who is responsible for weight management for dogs? 

Some experts say that the problem lies with dog food manufacturers.  It is true that many companies are only interested in their bottom line.  They are only interested in selling bags of dog food.  They focus on good tasting food that is loaded with calories.  It doesn’t really matter that the food contains many chemicals to make it taste better.

Others suggest that it is the dog owner who is responsible for the overweight pet.  To me, this seems to be the logical answer.  Our dogs are completely dependent on us to give them

Obese and overweight dogs and cats are becoming more and more of a problem today.  Just like in humans, this causes more health risks.

Dogs gain weight when energy intake exceeds energy requirement for the body.  The excess energy is stored as fat.  Unfortunately, the overweight condition may last after this excessive caloric intake stops.

For the most part, this overweight problem results from over feeding the dog coupled with inadequate exercise.

You should feed your dog based on the label on the dog food bag.  But you should do much more than this.  The label instructions give you some basic guidelines.  Some dogs require fewer calories than others depending on their exercise, etc.

At least once a week, you should feel your dog’s ribs.  You should feel a thin layer of flesh covering the ribs.  If you are not feeling the ribs, your dog is getting too many calories, and you should feed your dog less.

If you are only feeling the ribs, you probably need to feed your dog more food.

You should always feed your dog high quality, healthy dog food, treats, and supplements.  The company also provides a healthy weight loss food for dogs.  Romeo, my younger dog, has always eaten the regular food.  But our older dog, Princess, had a weight problem until she started eating the weight loss food.  She lost her excess weight.  She now maintains a normal weight level.

I read an article that discusses weight management for dogs.  It brings up the question about who is responsible for overweight dogs.  It is entitled “What is industry’s role in fighting obesity in pets?” by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of the Petfood Industry.

Here is a short quote from the article:

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68% of US adults are now overweight or obese; 33.8% are considered obese. With US pets, 32% of cats are classified as overweight by their veterinarians, with another 21.6% considered clinically obese; among dogs, the figures are 35% for overweight and 20.6% for obesity. That data comes from the fourth annual Association for Pet Obesity Prevention National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Study released in February 2011.

Blame for rising obesity in humans often lands, rightly or wrongly, on fast food marketers and other manufacturers of food high in calories and fat. Similarly, over the past decade or so, as premium and superpremium petfoods have come to dominate the US and other developed markets, some veterinarians and other pet health experts have targeted petfood manufacturers as at least partially to blame for increasing pet obesity.

The entire article can be found here.

The author points out that the Pet Food industry could do more in fighting this obesity issue for our pets.

What is your input on this topic of weight management for dogs?  It is an extremely important dog health issue.

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