Best Weight Loss Programs That Work
It's easy to tell if your Lab is overweight by just looking at her. A dog that's the right weight will have a waist her body will be slimmer behind her ribcage, in front of her hind legs. You should be able to see her waist from the top and from the side. She should not be the same diameter from shoulders to hips, like a great furry sausage You should also be able to just feel her ribs when you run your hand down her side. If you run the risk of bruising her when you try to feel her ribs, she's definitely too fat
Your veterinarian will probably also recommend some of the same medical treatments described for hip dysplasia. Weight control is an important factor in the management of this disease as well. Low- or non-weight-bearing exercise like walking or swimming may be recommended to maintain the elbow joint range of motion and improve joint stability by strengthening the surrounding muscles.
Excessive weight can cause many serious health problems for your Lab. Obesity increases her chances of developing liver disease or pancreatitis. Obese dogs, like obese people, are more likely to develop diabetes. Because fat is an excellent insulator, overweight dogs have difficulty dissipating heat, which can increase their risk of heat stroke. Too much weight can also put excessive stress on your Lab's bones and joints and aggravate hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and other arthritic conditions. It can force your Lab's heart to work harder and even limit her ability to breathe, especially when she lies down. These problems can make it more difficult for your Lab to exercise, which in turn makes it more likely that she will continue to be overweight. Finally, even though being overweight won't damage your Lab's self-image (dogs have no
Free-choice feeding, in which the dog determines how much and when to eat, is an easy plan for the owner, who simply provides food in excess of the dog's daily requirement. Some dogs do quite well when fed this way. Others tend to overeat, which can lead to excessive weight gain, especially if they don't get enough exercise. If your Lab has a hearty appetite (and most do), she may quickly morph into Pudgy Pup on a free-choice feeding plan. In addition, it may be harder for you to tell exactly how much she's eating, which can have serious consequences if an illness-related decrease in appetite isn't noticed right away. A satisfactory compromise might be to use a portion-controlled plan, in which you give your Lab a predetermined amount of unmoistened dry food that she can eat whenever she wants. This plan works best when you feed more than once a day and of course, when your Lab's total daily ration remains the same.
Your senior Lab has some specific dietary requirements, due primarily to changes in the way her body uses energy (calories) and protein. As she ages, she'll need fewer calories. Most Labs gain weight rather easily, but senior Labs are particularly at risk, especially if their owners don't take into account their dog's decreased caloric requirement. Because older dogs need less energy, most senior foods have less fat and fewer calories than food formulated for younger dogs. Many senior foods also contain added fiber, which decreases the caloric density while adding bulkiness to fill the dog up.
Whether as the result of quantitative or qualitative evolutionary changes, and despite occasional atavistic examples to the contrary, most dogs have lost the lupine carnivorous drive and predatory behavior exhibited by wild canids. Dogs appear content to eat practically whatever food they are given, even though it is often far removed from the diet which their ancestral progenitors enjoyed. Most dogs, however, still exhibit a definite preference for meat whenever it is available. Dogs tend to mature physically and sexually much more rapidly than wolves the former become sexually active (on average) between
Exercise is crucial for overweight Dachshunds. However, if your Dachshund is overweight, don't begin a rigorous exercise program right away. That extra weight puts a strain on her back, as well as on all her muscles. She needs to build up strength before she can do too much, just like an out-of-shape human. Start with slow, short walks and watch for signs of excessive fatigue, such as heavy panting or sitting down and refusing to move. (You can bet a Dachshund will make her wishes clear ) the second part of the prescription especially if your Dachshund is overweight will be an increase in her level of exercise.
Candy is bad for your Lab for the same reasons it's bad for you It contributes to dental problems, interferes with good nutrition and promotes weight gain. Not only is it unhealthy, some candy can actually be toxic to your Lab. Chocolate, for example, contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs if eaten in large enough quantities (and it's not at all difficult for a Lab to devour an entire box of chocolates). The easiest way to avoid these problems is to keep all candy away from your Lab. Instead, check out the many dog treats and biscuits that are available and reward your friend with a healthy treat.
When explaining to your veterinarian that you would like to begin feeding some home-cooked meals, make sure to discuss portion size. The serving sizes in this book are based on a medium-sized adult dog who weighs 25 to 35 pounds. Your vet will be able to help you determine the appropriate portion size for your pet, especially if your pet has weight issues or is very small or large. It is important to take into account your pet's age, activity level, metabolism, and other health issues. Once you know that your pet can tolerate and do well on homemade foods, start weighing your pet. I suggest keeping track for about 6 months. If he stays in the same healthy weight range, you know you're doing a good job.
Castration is an emotionally charged subject for many dog owners. It is perfectly understandable that people feel uncomfortable about surgically removing part of their dog's anatomy. Many people are afraid of how their dog might change. Still others are attracted to the idea of using their dog at stud. However, dogs only change for the better following castration. Dogs who protect the house continue to do so hunting dogs work just as well after as before. Some dogs gain weight following castration. They simply need to have the amount of food they eat reduced. If the weight gain doesn't respond to a change in diet, you might want to have your veterinarian run a thyroid test on your dog, which requires analysis of a blood sample.
Before we go into the prenatal care of the bitch, we should mention false pregnancy or pseudocyesis. This is a condition in which a bitch shows many symptoms of being pregnant, yet she is not pregnant. She may have milk in the breasts, gain weight, have a desire to make a nest and other symptoms of the pregnant bitch, but it's a false alarm. False pregnancy is common in high-strung or nervous bitches. A bitch need not be mated to have a false pregnancy. The symptoms usually appear 50 to 70 days after the bitch has gone out of heat and may persist for as long as several months. The treatment consists of giving the dog sedatives or tranquilizers and catering to her mistaken maternal desires. Give her an old shoe or toy to mother during her false pregnancy. Hormone injections sometimes help alleviate the condition the only sure way to prevent a recurrence is to have the bitch spayed. As her pregnancy progresses, the bitch will gain weight and her appetite will increase. Toward the end of...
Treatment The treatment depends upon the cause. Here, again, the dog may have to undergo various tests. And any testing will usually start with the dog's diet. Check it over and make sure he's getting enough fat and the right kind, preferably fat of animal origin. A daily grooming will help get rid of the dandruff that accumulates on the hair or skin. It will not cure it, of course. If, after you've checked and adjusted the diet, the dandruff persists, have the veterinarian examine the dog.
To clear up ordinary diarrhea, you will first have to determine the cause. Check the dog's diet. It's possible that his food is too laxative. Dog foods containing liver are apt to be on the laxative side. Eliminate them. Add cooked starchy foods to the diet. Boiled rice, macaroni or barley will help solidify bowel movements in ordinary functional diarrhea. If you feed the dog milk, boil it. The commercial diarrhea medicines, such as Peptobismol, will bring ordinary diarrhea under control. For a 7- to 10-week-old puppy, 1 teaspoonful every 4 hours will bring quick results. In the case of bloody diarrhea or when the condition persists for more than a day or two, take a specimen of the dog's bowel movement to the veterinarian. The dog may have worms or intestinal parasites. (See Chapter 14)
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid gland disorder in which the thyroid doesn't secrete enough of its hormone, slowing a dog's metabolism and resulting in weight gain, fatigue, sluggish behavior, dry skin, hair loss, and severe behavioral changes ranging from aggression to depression. If your Dachshund exhibits these symptoms, call your vet for an appointment. Dachshunds, along with many other breeds, are particularly prone to hypothyroidism. Most dogs develop the disease in middle age. It can be successfully treated with a synthetic thyroid hormone, just like humans with the same disease.
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