Despite being one of the easiest conditions to diagnose, obesity in dogs remains one of the most difficult to treat. More than half of North American dogs are overweight which means many also face life threatening weight-related diseases. The latest tool in combating obesity in dogs and helping dog owners to determine how much food to feed a dog to maintain a healthy weight is actually an app that can be downloaded to your iPhone or iPad. It is only one of a number of new technologies helping pet owners and the veterinarians in Markham measure and track healthy weight.
Utilizing information such as your dog’s weight, age, gender, intact status and body condition score the app generates a profile. It will even automatically enroll the dog in the weight loss program if already overweight. Next, you have the ability to select from 1,700 different available foods found either at the pet food store or at veterinary clinics. IF your brand doesn’t happen to be on the list you can enter the information from the nutritional label. Lastly you are then prompted to enter the total kilocalories of treats given. You don’t need to nix treats altogether. Just be realistic — if you or your family likes to give them, make sure they are included when you enter your information for you to succeed. The veterinarians in Markham recommend choosing healthy alternatives, such as veggies or rice cakes, and decide at the beginning of each day exactly how many the dog is allowed; put this amount in a bowl, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
The app will now indicate how much food your dog should be eating in cups. If your dog is supposed to be loosing weight it will display how much your dog is expected to loose every two weeks and even remind you of weight-ins on a weekly (for weight loss), and monthly (for maintenance) basis. Anytime there is an adjustment in portion size the app automatically does a protein check by comparing the grams of protein it is receiving to the amount that your dog requires and will issue a warning if it isn’t enough.
The veterinarians in Markham want to remind you if cutting out unhealthy snacks and table scraps, serving the right amount and right type of dog food and increasing physical activity, don’t do the trick, an underlying health condition likely triggered the weight gain. That’s why consultation with your veterinarians in Markham who can perform blood work is so important.
Overweight dogs, just like people can face a litany of health issues, so a diet may save your pet’s life. The potentially devastating consequences of obesity include:
- Trouble breathing
- Greater risk for heat stroke
- Orthopedic concerns
- Compromised immune system
- Reduction in life span
- Mammary tumors (particularly in un-spayed females)
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
Regardless of how, once you’ve achieved success, maintain the weight loss by sticking to what you know. Avoid between-meal snacks and treats, regular exercise, and controlled food portions. Getting the whole family into healthy-dog habits is essential for long-term weight management.
Dr. Ernst Marsig, veterinarian in Markham
Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Markham for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.
Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic on the north side of Hwy 7, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, pocket pets (rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, etc.), ferrets, and birds (budgies, cockatiel, parrots, amazon, cockatoo, love birds, conures, African greys, finches, canaries, etc.).
Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.