October 12th is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day in the USA. Pet obesity is a ‘first world’ problem; I often see dogs in my practice that are overweight or obese.
This handy obesity chart gives you an idea of how to score your dog’s (and cat’s) body condition:
A vet check is always advisable before starting your dog on a weight loss programme. In my experience, weight loss isn’t just about dietary changes. Massage and stretching combined with exercise can help your dog feel better and move more freely – meaning more calories are burned to assist with any reduction in food intake.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand