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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Keeping your pet at their ideal weight is so important to their health. If your pet is overweight, I strongly urge you to take the steps to start helping them lose the excess pounds.

To see if your do is a their ideal weight, there are 3 areas to check:

(1) Ribs

You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs as if there is a thin blanket over them. You can feel them, but they are not noticeably visible when standing. If you feel a layer of “squish” over this area or can’t feel the ribs at all, your dog is overweight.

(2) Abdominal Tuck

You should notice an upward slope of your dog’s belly from the end of their rib cage to their thighs. If there is barely to no slope here, your dog is overweight.

(3) Waist

From a bird’s eye view, looking down at your dog, you should notice an inward tapering of a waist, just before their rear end. If you can’t make out a waist, or you are noticing more of a sausage shape here, your dog is overweight.

The above 3 areas to check ideal weight are there in EVERY dog.

Extra weight adds extra stress on the joints as well as the rest of the body. It can make them prone to so many different health conditions as well as make it more difficult to recover from injuries. If your pet is overweight, it’s time to start taking the steps to slim them down.

To help your pet lose the extra weight, there are two main areas to look at:

(1) Food

Your dog’s diet is the most influential factor to their weight. Start by cutting back their food, or better yet, look to providing your pet with a better quality food. Keep track of everything that goes into your dog’s mouth everyday. If your dog gets a treat in the day, be sure you account for this at meal time. If you feed a food like kibble or canned food, try going to a less processed food such as a freeze, or best you can feed raw.

Notice the 3 areas to check: ribs, abdominal tuck, and waist spell “raw?” They were put in that order at no mistake! Raw food provides your dog with nutrition in the form their body was designed to recognize and utilize. It will make weight loos much easier, and it will benefit every other aspect of their health as well.

Sometimes if a dog has been on a kibble or canned food for a long period of time they are lacking the beneficial bacteria and enzymes in their gut micro-biome. Supplementing probiotics and enzymes, or feeding foods like raw green tripe to  replenish and balance their gut can help with weight loss as well.

(2) Exercise

Be sure your dog is getting an ample amount of exercise in their day. Many dogs are lacking the amount of exercise they should get. There are so many ways to help your pet get active, whether a walk, a run, swimming, hiking, playing with other dogs, playing with you, and much more. There are so many things you can do to get your pet moving.  You can get creative here.

There are many interactive toys available to help get your pet physically and mentally stimulated on days you may be extra busy, such as treat balls to roll around the house. “Wait, treats?!” Again, be sure you account for any treats at meal time and be sure they are minimally processed treats such as freeze dried or dehydrated treats, limited ingredients such as a single protein source, so that they do not hinder your weight loss goals.

You can also check out dog training facilities and try out some dog sports like agility, flyball, canine freestyle, disc dog, or dock diving to get your dog moving and having fun. If your dog is older or has joint issues, you can look into a lower impact activity like nose work or barn hunt (some jumping).

If your pet is already at their ideal weight, thank you so much for looking out for your pet’s health and wellness. If you realize your pet is overweight after reading this article, start your plan and make it your number one priority to get your pet to a healthy weight.

Dr. Erin O’Connor is an AVCA Animal Chiropractor and ACAN Naturopathic Carnivore Nutrition Consultant. She sees patients out of her clinic, Vitality Chiropractic Center in Aurora, as well as Autumn Green Animal Hospital in Geneva. For further information, visit myvitalitychiropractic.com or email Dr. O’Connor at drerinoconnor@myvitalitychiropractic.com.

 

 

Keeping up with your pets can be exhausting at times…it is normal to spend a great deal of time trying to prevent problems such as fleas, worms, ear infections, and much more.  Yet, one problem often goes unnoticed….Canine Obesity, and it is estimated that nearly 34% of all dogs are overweight.  The reason for this is that many pet owners are not aware of the severity of obesity symptoms, or aware of how to tell when their pet has reached an unhealthy weight.dog-on-scale

There are many harmful symptoms of canine obesity including:

  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Inability or lack of desire to exercise
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Sensitivity to heat

Clearly, overweight animals are only cute on the Internet, in real life the reality of their condition is anything but…How do you know when your pet has reached an unhealthy weight?  Often times it is hard to determine what the ideal weight of your pet should be, as well as specifically what is causing their condition.

Causes of Canine Obesity:overflowing-dog-food-bowl-9506814

It may sound harsh, but often times the cause of a dogs weight problem is their owner.  The owner is mostly in control of when and how much a dog eats, as well as how much exercise they get on a daily basis. Making sure that a dog is being fed the proper amount of food, as well as getting plenty of exercise every day is extremely important.  It is easy to cut the amount of weekly walks down, but doing so could have serious repercussions for your pet.

 

How to Tell:

The easiest way to tell whether or not your pet is overweight is to look down at them from above.  Ideally you will be able to feel their ribs but you will not be able to see them.  If you can see their ribs then they are too thin, but if you cannot feel them at all then they are most likely overweight.

Solutions:dog-need-exercise

One simple way to help your companion shed pounds quickly is to cut their daily amount of food by 25%.  Often times the problem can be as simple as overeating so make sure to actually measure the amount of food that you’re giving your pet.  You should give your pet the amount of food that it says on the bag, that your pets weight is SUPPOSED to be, not what they currently weigh. You can also help by increasing the amount of exercise they get a day.  The ideal amount of exercise per day is about two – half hour walks.  If your pet is not currently getting this much, it is best to slowly build up to the ideal exercise level.

Canine obesity is a fairly serious problem, affecting around 1/3 of all dogs. Thankfully though it is not a difficult problem to solve.  With a little bit of dedication you can get your pet back to a healthy weight very quickly!

If your dog has a few pounds to shed…you and your pup can participate in the Two Bostons Lose Pounds with Your Hounds Challenge.  It is a 6-week weight-loss challenge with your pup! The program starts the week of April 25th and runs until June 11, 2016.  For more information visit our website or email Lisa at lisa.s@twobostons.com!

 

 

MelissaG_profile
Hello again everyone! Melissa here with my trusty taste-tester, Shenzi. Since I have a slightly picky eater on my hands (Shenzi is glancing away as I type this), I’m always searching for new foods to try — just in case somebody wakes up one morning and decides she’s had enough of her kibble. Luckily for me (and for Shenzi!) we just got an awesome new line from Acana in to our stores. So of course, we just had to give it a try!

The new line is called Acana Singles Formula. It’s a fantastic option that can help dogs manage multiple wellness issues; OR help owners who just want to be more conscious of the foods their dogs are consuming at all times. As the name implies, this new formula from Acana uses ONE protein, as opposed to a mixture of proteins like Acana’s other flavors. So when the label says there’s lamb in the bag, that’s the only source of meat protein you’ll find in there!

This makes Acana Singles an ideal option for dogs with allergies, since you don’t have to worry about hidden chicken meal or any other sources of protein that might cause an undesirable reaction. Each Acana Singles flavor also uses peas and/or sweet potatoes as binding agents, instead of white potatoes. As you might know from our previous blog, the heavy starches found in white potatoes can sometimes lead to health issues in diabetic or overweight dogs. The protein level of Acana Singles is also one of the lowest of any food in our stores. This makes it a great option for overweight dogs, or for pups who may not always get as much exercise as they should.

AcanaSinglesPhotos

One taste of Acana Singles and Shenzi (right) was saying “More please, Mom!”

Best of all, Acana is a highly reputable brand with an outstanding safety and customer satisfaction record — so you can feel confident giving your dog ANY of their foods. Acana and Orijen are actually sister companies. Their foods are made in Canada, which matches (and sometimes even exceeds) the U.S. when it comes to stringent food safety requirements! The fruits and vegetables used in Acana and Orijen foods are all harvested on thriving Canadian farm soil, so they make a yummy and nutritious feast for any pup. The only thing I was surprised about when it came to Acana foods was the relatively large size of the kibble. If your pup has dental issues, this is something to be aware of. But Shenzi, of course, didn’t care. She gobbled it all right up!

So if your pup thrives on limited-ingredient formulas such as Zignature and LiveFree, you should definitely give Acana Singles Formula a try next time you stop by your nearest Two Bostons store. You can choose from three uniquely delicious flavors – Pork and Butternut Squash, Lamb and Okanagan Apple, or Duck and Bartlett Pear. Feel absolutely confident feeding them to your pup, because these ingredients are some of the freshest around. Plus, they’ve received Shenzi’s enthusiastic taste- test stamp of approval … as you can see from the picture (above) of her giving it TWO PAWS way up!