Owning a dog is not always the easiest job. After all, you want to give the cutie everything within your power. Because of this, it can seem next to impossible to resist your doggie's pleading eyes as he begs for an extra chicken treat, table scrap or meal serving.
If your dog eats too much, it probably will be very apparent to you and everyone else around him. Perhaps he has a visible weight problem. Maybe his energy levels are bizarrely low compared to other pups his age. Breathing difficulties may even emerge. He may even just beg you for food and treats every time he gets a glimpse of you -- stressful, indeed.
When it comes to your pet's lifestyle and health issues, always pay close attention. The little details mean a lot!
To be a responsible owner, a proper and regimented canine diet plan is an absolute must. Without restrictions, you open your dog up to limitless eating, obesity and a bevy of different health problems.
If you're unsure about how to offer your dog a nutritious, well-balanced yet portion-controlled diet, consult your veterinarian about suitable portion sizes. Be sure to take into consideration your dog's weight, age, medical history and present medications. Make sure the vet is equipped with all of this pertinent information.
Also, be sure to speak to the vet regarding frequency of feeding. The vet may advise against leaving food out for your dog to enjoy all hours of the day. Instead, he may recommend that you feed your dog on a predictable schedule -- perhaps once in the early morning and again later on in the evening.
Obesity is a major epidemic not only in humans, but also in their fluffy counterparts -- dogs! Excessive eating not only isn't conducive to a healthy, calorie-controlled diet, it also can lead to an overweight or obese doggie. No fun for anyone. If a dog is overweight or obese, he becomes much more susceptible to a vast array of dangerous medical ailments, including diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, heart disease and cancer. The Austin Humane Society also notes that some extra weight can drastically shorten your pet's life -- often by more than 2 precious years.
Excessive eating may not necessarily be something within your doggie's control. Before you deem your pet a glutton, consider the fact that his eating patterns may be related to a health ailment. Increased appetite can be a sign of a variety of different medical conditions in canines, from diabetes to Cushing's disease. Appetite boosts also can point to side effects in various medications. Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if you suspect his excessive eating may be health-related. Your hungry doggie depends on you, after all!
- Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Cushing's Disease
- ASPCA: Feeding Your Adult Dog
- ASPCA: Overweight Dogs
- ASPCA: Q&A with Dr. Murray - Canine Obesity
- Humane Society of Huron Valley: Diet for Overweight Dogs
- Austin Humane Society: Is Your Pet Overweight?
- National Academy of Sciences: Your Dog's Nutritional Needs
- ASPCA: Diabetes
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