Friday, March 13, 2009

Weight Control for Your Guide Dog - Second of four articles

Are You a Waist Watcher?

Those extra treats that are so lovingly doled out can creep up on your dog. One here, one there, and before you know it your pooch has ballooned into a little butterball.

In the previous article (date here) we mentioned the effects of obesity on your dog. So it's important to know when the occasional snack has gone too far. Here are some easy tests to determine if you have a sleek and fit dog.

First - Feel the places on your dog where bones are more pronounced such as the spine, shoulders and hips. If you cannot readily feel the bones because of a layer of fat then your dog is overweight. You should only be able to feel a small amount of fat over these areas.

Second - Run your hands down both sides of your dog from above, starting from behind the front legs to the rib cage. Right after the rib cage you should be able to feel a waist. No waist = overweight dog. If this area is wider than the hips or ribs then you have a seriously obese dog.

Third - Run your hands under your dog starting behind the legs and past the rib cage. You should be able to feel an abdominal tuck behind the rib cage. This area should be smaller in diameter than the chest. Again if there is no tuck at all then you have an overweight dog.

It's surprising how quickly a dog can put on extra pounds. Make it a part of your weekly routine to be a waist watcher of your dog. That little check once week can be your assurance that extra pounds won't shorten your dog's life.

No comments: