Is my dog’s new weight control diet working?

Surveys have shown that more than half of our canine friends are overweight, and more than half of those are actually obese. Dogs that are overweight are at risk of developing many high risk diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteo-arthritis and even cancer.  Being overweight can also aggravate hip dysplasia, cause breathing problems and reduce liver function.  In a nutshell, being overweight or obese not only reduces their quality of life, but can also shorten the life of your dog!

One of the easiest ways to determine if your pet is overweight is to feel their ribs. To do this, gently rub your hand over their ribs; you should be able to feel each individual rib. If you can’t feel them, your pet is most probably overweight.  With the exception of a few breeds of dog, particularly the sighthounds which include the Greyhound and Saluki, you should almost never be able to clearly see the individual ribs; if you can see them and feel them, your pet is quite possibly underweight.

Severely underweight and overweight dogs should be examined by a veterinarian to make sure that the weight fluctuations have not caused any damage or resulted in the development of a weight related disease.

For overweight dogs, there are some excellent dog foods that have been designed to help your dog lose weight safely and effectively, such as the Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management® and OM Select Overweight Management® formulas by Purina® and Hill’s® Prescription Diet® r/d® Canine range or Hill’s® Science Diet® Adult Perfect Weight formula.

Although these diets will help your dog lose weight, it is also advisable to try and get them to be more physically active, dependent on age and ability.  By controlling their diet, recording their weight and physical condition, you will be able to determine whether or not the new diet is working.  In addition to this, it is important to monitor and manage their health status.  This is particularly crucial if due to being overweight your dog had developed diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.  Both of these conditions can affect and damage the kidneys and a quick and easy way to monitor them is by using a home urine testing kit.

If due to diabetes there is sugar present in the urine, or if their high blood pressure causes a condition called proteinuria (where proteins from the blood have passed in to the urine), a do-it-yourself urine analysis kit will be able to detect these and alert you to the possible danger your dog is in. CheckUp is a fast and easy-to-use kit that will help you to monitor and manage your dog’s health status at home while they are losing weight. The CheckUp kit for dogs contains everything you will need for the test, from collecting the sample to reading the results.  If the test shows any positive results, you can contact your veterinarian and easily provide the same sample to the clinic for further analysis. Checking is caring. So CheckUp.

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