Did you know that you can directly influence your dog's life span through caloric intake? It's true.
Leaner animals live longer. In 2001, a fourteen year, landmark study in Labrador Retrievers proved that maintaining dogs' ideal body condition extended their life span by 15 percent, which translated into nearly two years.
- Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering
- Tapered waist observed behind the ribs when viewed from above (Your dog should not look like a rectangle or oval.)
- Abdomen tucked up when viewed from the side
- Find a way to emotionally connect with your dog that doesn't involve food. (Might I suggest long leash walks?)
- The amount of food recommended on commercial packaging is generally way too much for our sedentary adult dogs.
- Actually measure the amount you feed with a real kitchen measuring cup, not a coffee can or ceramic mug.
- Two 10-minute walks per day don't equate to an active lifestyle. Weight loss requires reducing caloric intake below caloric expenditure. Increase your dog's exercise!
- I've heard people complain that their dog got fat after being spayed or neutered. The procedure itself didn't result in obesity, but desexing will decrease your dog's metabolism by up to 35%. Feed accordingly.
- The calories from treats add up quickly. Instead, try green beans, cauliflower, or raw baby carrots.
- Substitute cooked green beans for a portion of your dog's calorie-dense food. I had two Saluki patients who always had a "salad" before dinner.