With the festive season upon us, looking out for the health of your dog is just as important as looking out for your own waistline. The saying goes: you are what you eat. Often one’s lifestyle is inadvertently mimicked by your faithful friend as well. It is imperative to look out for the weight of your dog. If you feel you are not overfeeding him, take him or her to the vet for a full physical. A lot of the time, substantial weight gain is due to the fact that well-meaning owners give out more treats than is actually healthy. Canine Obesity can more often than not, be traced back to the owner. However, sudden weight gain can also be due to hyperthyroidism, or Cushing’s Disease.
Festive season equals eating more. Hence, it is no surprise that there are more scraps as well. With guests galore and preparations all around, pooch time is often decreased to a minimum. You should say time-out and go for quick walks with your furry friend. Take a break from cooking or from decorating the Christmas tree. Do this a couple of times during the day. You will see it will be beneficial for both of you. This is also a good form of diversion for both of you, when the guests have arrived and there is just so much to take care of. Most dogs burn the calories during the day, so by reducing and replacing a night-time intake with a morning and daytime intake, he has a better chance to burn those calories throughout the day. Exercise-wise, remember your time in the gym, after months of leaving it out. You feel ill to the core. An overweight pooch will be feeling the same, even if you try to train him for the next marathon! The secret is moderation! Slowly but surely, your furry friend will get used to longer walks and a routine will be established. As with any weight control diet: do your best to try and keep his treats and sweets to a minimum this festive season, even if his eyes say otherwise!