National Pet Obesity Day!

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, Oct. 11, 2023
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Did you know that today is National Pet Obesity Day?

It's a day dedicated to raising awareness about a growing concern among our furry companions: obesity.

Just like humans, dogs can face health issues due to excess weight, and it's our responsibility to ensure they lead happy, healthy lives.

Obesity in pets is a pressing issue, and the statistics speak volumes.

Studies show that even a mere 10 pounds of excess weight on a dog can lead to a reduced lifespan.

A large lifetime study of Labrador Retrievers has found that being even moderately overweight can reduce a dog's life expectancy by nearly two years compared to their leaner counterparts.

That's a significant impact on the years you get to spend with your tail-wagging friend.

Signs of an Overweight Dog:

To make sure your furry friend stays trim and healthy, it's essential to recognize the signs of obesity:

  1. Weight Gain: Obvious weight gain or difficulty feeling your pet's ribs. If you have to press hard to feel their ribs, they're overweight
  2. Low Energy: Reduced energy levels, reluctance to play or exercise.
  3. Shortness of Breath: Easily exhausted or panting excessively.
  4. Change in Mobility: Difficulty getting up or moving around.
  5. Apathy: Loss of interest in activities they once loved.
  6. Visible Changes: A change in body shape, a sagging belly, or difficulty grooming themselves.
  7. Fat Pads: Some dogs will have fat pads and waddle when they walk. They are most common between the legs and on the top of the hips.

How to Keep Your Pet Healthy and Trim:

  1. Balanced Diet: More protein - fewer grains and no artificial colors or preservatives.
  2. Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity is essential for your pet's health. Take daily walks, engage in playtime, or consider agility training if your pet enjoys it.
  3. Portion Control: Measure your pet's food and stick to a consistent feeding schedule. Avoid free-feeding.
  4. Healthy Treats: Opt for nutritious treats or use real food, like dried liver, as rewards during training, not the cheap stuff from Walmart.
  5. Regular Weight Checkups: Schedule routine checkups with your veterinarian to monitor your pet's weight and overall health.
  6. Stay Consistent: Stick to your pet's recommended diet and exercise routine, even when those puppy eyes beg for extra treats.

By maintaining a healthy weight, you can extend your dog’s lifespan and ensure a longer joy-filled life.

So, on this National Pet Obesity Day, commit to keeping your pets fit, fabulous, and full of life!

Did you know I have written 21 articles on nutrition for our American Dirus dogs?

It’s all FREE on our website!

Here’s the link:

Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.