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Banish Your Dog’s Obesity for Good

Your Labrador retriever Buster has always lived his life to the fullest, exercising with high-energy fetch games and training dummy retrieval drills. Buster fueled this super-active lifestyle by eating more than any dog you’ve ever met. However, Buster is now eight years old, and he has really slacked off the exercise while continuing to stuff himself. Not surprisingly, Buster has gained several pounds and now looks rather pudgy. You don’t want Buster to risk serious conditions such as diabetes, joint pain, and liver problems, among others. You’ve asked your veterinarian from El Dorado Hills to prescribe a weight management program for your lovable Lab. Read more about dogs’ obesity problems below.

Unofficial Weight Gauge

You’re pretty sure Buster is overweight, but you’d like to confirm your hunch with an unofficial weight test. If Buster’s weight lies in a healthy range, you’ll be able to feel his backbone and palpate his ribs. However, if you can’t feel Buster’s ribs without digging into them, your pooch has gained some weight.

Also, when you stand over Buster and look down, your Lab should have a “waist” between the back of his rib cage and his hips. If this doesn’t describe Buster at all, your dog needs a weight management wake-up call.

Source of the Extra Pounds

If Buster scarfs down a certain number of daily calories, and burns them up with vigorous exercise, he’ll probably remain at a healthy weight. However, Buster’s obsession with food drives him to eat everything in sight. Once Buster finishes gorging himself, he collapses on the nearest bed.

Buster’s body stores those surplus calories as fat. Labs and their smaller pug relatives are especially prone to weight gain. Older dogs are also more likely to pack on excess weight.

Retool Your Dog’s Nutritional Plan

Since balancing Buster’s food intake and calorie consumption will be challenging, ask your vet for help. Write down every scrap of food Buster consumes each day; and also record his daily exercise details. You’d like to fudge the numbers in Buster’s favor; however, don’t do that, since your vet will get a false picture of Buster’s habits.

After analyzing Buster’s data, your vet will develop a weight management plan that provides good nutrition for your Lab’s age and activity level. Always feed Buster from his own bowl, and follow your vet’s advice regarding treats.

Finally, get Buster off the couch and onto a leash. Take him for walks, to the dog park; and generally keep him moving. Buster will burn more calories, decrease his appetite, and increase his resting metabolic rate. Ask your El Dorado Hills vet to recommend some safe exercises Buster will enjoy.

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