A Healthy Diet For Your Pet – Medical Minute

Let’s talk about New Year’s resolutions. Dr. McGlasson has his personal resolutions, but we want you to have some resolutions of your own for your furry friends.

Healthy Weight for Your Dog
A great resolution for your dog is to make sure they’re at a healthy weight. Everybody loves a cuddly, chunky dog, but the truth is it’s actually really dangerous for them long-term. Studies have shown that dogs that are overweight live on average two years less than dogs that are at a healthy weight.

We want you to be able to keep your best friend around as long as you can. So, let’s make sure their weight is healthy and sustainable for your furry friend.

“Previously, fat was considered to be relatively inactive tissue, simply storing excess energy calories and adding to body mass. However, scientific evidence now reveals that fat tissue is biologically active. It secretes inflammatory hormones and creates oxidative stress on the body’s tissue, both of which contribute to many diseases. Thinking of obesity as a chronic, low-level inflammatory condition is a new approach.” (Williams & Downing)

Healthy Servings For Pups
What can you do to see where your dog stands? Go online and look at a dog body condition chart. They give you some tips as far as if you can see or feel their ribs, what their waist looks like, things like that. Let’s actually see where our dog falls on this chart.

To give yourself a rough guide, you can look at the feeding recommendations on the back of your dog food bag. A word of caution to give you – when it says a cup, use an actual measuring cup. A cup from your cupboard is not an accurate measurement for your dog’s food.

However, you don’t want to simply reduce the volume of food and end up underfeeding your pet. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, “It is appropriate and important to feed a nutritional product that has lower overall calorie density, yet maintains an appropriate nutrient balance.”

Being overweight actually puts your dog at high risk for lots of really debilitating diseases, diabetes, arthritis, just to name a few. In this new year, let’s make our resolution to be intentional with how much we feed our best friends and make sure they are at their healthiest weight possible.

Williams, K., & Downing, R. (n.d.). Obesity in dogs: VCA Animal Hospital. Vca. Retrieved January 4, 2023, from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/obesity-in-dogs#:~:text=Using%20body%20weight%20as%20a,above%20their%20ideal%20body%20weight.

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