Obesity is a growing problem (pardon the pun) with our ever-expanding population, whether we’re packing on a few extra pounds ourselves or our four-legged best friends are tipping the scales at some very unhealthy levels. The solution to this problem seems simple enough, feed them less and exercise more.
But sometimes this weighty challenge is problematic enough even for ourselves us as their masters. So what are some overlooked ways we’re missing the boat when it comes to keeping our pets from tipping the scales and sinking the ship when it comes to a healthy weight?
1. Better Breeding
This is an unusual conundrum since certain canine breeds (like the French Bulldog for example) are more likely to pack on extra pounds compared to other animals with different bloodlines. But what causes this dilemma?
According to some sources, these adorable, little bullish babes are more prone to getting chunky for some unusual reasons indicative to their breed:
- They tend to overeat, especially without monitoring of their diet
- Given their body type, it’s difficult for them to exercise efficiently
- They seem to gain weight more quickly compared to other breeds
Once they pack on those extra pounds, just like humans, it’s very difficult for them to shed this type of unwanted weight gain, regardless of their breed. Other canines struggle with weight loss in the same way those of us who are “big-boned” can’t seem to lose those extra pounds.
Even dogs with free roam of a house, yard or other open space may feel they’re confined only to a small area. This may have something to do with being kept in a crate at times, only available to traverse in certain spaces or types of training that disallows them from entering other areas that makes them wary of being mobile.
While it’s perfectly fine to restrict your dog to places they shouldn’t be allowed, but at the same time, they should have some sense of freedom that makes them feel more free to be mobile.
3. Availability of Snacks
“Snacks on snacks on snacks,” is a recent advertising campaign coming from a nationwide candy conglomerate that invites us to eat as many treats as we can possibly stomach during a single sitting. Similar to pounding a bag of chips, pretzels or even consuming an entire pizza, we’re not likely to pass this process onto our pets.
But we may be unwittingly giving them too many treats in an unlikely fashion. There’s a couple ways of looking at this. First of all, are we doling out treats without realizing how many times a day it actually occurs? Even if that’s not transpiring, are there multiple members of our household treating our pets and we’re not aware of how many times these events are happening? It’s food for thought!
4. Medical Issue(s)
Last, but certainly not least, our little fur buddy could have some kind of medical issue that’s causing them to gain weight no matter how much they exercise or their diet is restricted. If you’ve tried and failed with these standards measures in order to control their weight, take them to the vet to ensure there’s nothing wrong with their health that’s causing them to expand.
As pet owners who want the best for their beloved animals, we should always check with the vet when it comes to their overall health. We can also ensure they are getting the best care, healthy snacks and food so they’ll be with us for as long as “humanly” possible.
About the Author:
Born in Chicago and raised in Boston, Jenn Johnson is a journalist and a freelance writer. She completed her PhD in Journalism from Northwestern University. You’ll find this pet enthusiast and freelance journalist living happily with her husband, three kids and their two beloved dogs, Thunder and Lightning in the Back Bay area of Massachusetts, just outside Boston.