Overweight and obese dogs carry much higher risks for disease than lean dogs. Sedentary lifestyles lead to weight gain, a decrease in muscle mass, loss of range of motion and cardiovascular health risks.
In New York City, lots of dogs are latchkey dogs who get minimal exercise while you are at work all day. An alarming number of our dogs are overweight because they have access to food, treats and high calorie biscuits and bones all day long. Free feeding is not only a common cause for dogs being over weight and finicky eaters, it is also not good for your relationship with your dog.
Carrying around too much weight increases stress on the tendons, ligaments and the tissue surrounding the joints thus increasing the risk for cruciate ligament rupture, hip dysplasia, disc disease and soft tissue injuries of all kinds.
So, how can you tell more objectively if your dog is overweight? Feel the back of your hand and the palm of your hand. There is a distinct difference in how you can feel your knuckles. If your dog’s rib cage feels like your bones on back of your hand: your dog is quite lean. If your dog’s rib cage feels like the inside of the palm of your hand the weight is still fine but you would not want the dog to gain weight. If you cannot feel any hills or valleys around the ribcage: your dog definitely is overweight.
Without question, the best way to combat obesity and restore health is to combine diet change with increased exercise.
At DogRelations NYC, we help you choose a balanced, highly nutritious diet that will lead to safe weight loss. Additionally we design a sensible and safe exercise program for your dog that allows your dog to gain healthy, lean muscle tissue while losing fat. Interval training with your dog will gradually build up endurance and strength and a healthy cardio vascular system.
DogRelations NYC teaches your dog mentally stimulating games that will shift your dog’s focus away from food. We will show you how to slow down the dog’s eating process. You’ll learn how create daily portions that can be served in different containers or portioned out by hand during interactive games.
Finally, we engage your dog in core strengthening and balancing exercises designed to strengthen joints, increase range of motion, so he will be fit enough to stay injury free when first changing from sedentary lifestyle to a much more active lifestyle.
Best of all: these exercises are really fun for both you and your dog as well as being great tricks to show off!
Give us a call and let’s get you organized and get your dog back to a healthy weight so you can give your dog maximum quality of life and increase longevity!