Today I'm joining in the Show Off Your Dog's Waistline Campaign hosted by Dawg Business. All you do is take some pictures of your dog, and share how you keep them lean, fit and happy. Easy! So without further ado, here's what I do to keep Nola in shape, some facts about dog obesity and some photos of my lean girl.
Check out this flow chart here to access your dog's weight. I find this chart to be the best and easiest. Nola scores as a C, which means: "LEAN. Your dog is at the low end of ideal, with less than normal amounts of body fat."
Obesity in dogs is a huge epidemic, with 40 to 60% of the population being overweight or obese. The majority of people cannot recognize a dog that is fit and in shape, instead thinking a healthy dog is underweight.
Depending on the breed, you should be able to easily feel the ribs, hips and spine. You should see an evident abdominal tuck up when viewing your dog from the side, and a defined waist when seen from above. Obviously, a greyhound is going to look different from a Bulldog, but in general you should see a nice, lean frame.
Dogs who are overweight are at much greater risks for serious health problems, many of the ones humans get, including:
- Arthritis and joint issues
- Heart Disease
- High blood pressure
- Kidney Disease
- Higher risks of many cancers
- Decreased life expectancy by as many as 2.5 years. YEARS!!!
- Decreased stamina
- Nearly quadrupled risk of IVDD in Dachshunds and other breeds prone to it
- Respiratory issues and difficulty breathing
Nola is currently about 8lbs, and that is her ideal weight. I can easily feel her hips, spine and ribs, and see the last few ribs. She's solid muscle with very little fat.
Some things I do to keep her this way:
Feed a high quality, grain free food. Nola is on a home cooked diet, and since I cut grains out of her food I've seen a dramatic loss of fat and gaining of muscle.
Monitor the amount she eats. She gets about a 3/4 cup of food a day, in addition to healthy training treats. If she's getting thick, she gets 1/2 and if she's looking too thin I up it to a cup.
Exercise! Every day Nola runs around like mad in our large yard, and I play with her several times a day. Games like tug, chase and kicking around her favorite ball keep her in shape. She also goes running with me several times a week.
Provide lots of fresh water. Just like humans, water is vital for staying healthy.
Closely monitor her body condition. Every week I access Nola's condition and see how she's doing.
That's what we do! Below are some photos of Nola and her lovely figure.
|Defined waist, strongly muscled hind and front legs|
|No belly sagging as she sits; you can still see her tuck up.|
|Again, pure muscle.|
|Defined waist (and adorable head tilt!)|
|This how Nola currently looks, and this is her ideal. Very toned legs, defined waist, a few ribs visible, defined should muscles.|
|My perfectly fit girl. It was blazing hot, and Nola was running full tilt, but her heart rate stayed slow and she wasn't panting. You can see her rippling muscle and the pure power in her small body.|
|Tuck up evident even at a distance.|
|Again, very defined and toned.|
|I like to be able to see the last few ribs. You can see very, very faintly her hip bones. Tendons and muscle well defined.|