Expert Tips for Weight Loss

Canine obesity is an all-too-common medical condition that can result in serious health implications for your dog.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates that 35 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. A recent study conducted by Pfizer Animal Health found that veterinarians consider 47 percent of their canine patients overweight or obese — but only 17 percent of their pet parents felt the same. Why the difference? It could be denial or difficulty in recognizing the signs associated with being overweight or obese. Regardless, dog-owner perception and education is one of the underlying challenges in maintaining a healthy canine weight. This is a great reason for an annual veterinarian checkup.

Veterinarians highly recommend watching an animal’s weight to prevent weight-associated complications and to make sure canine companions live longer, healthier lives. As with humans, weight loss can be achieved through dieting and exercise. Consult your veterinarian for a weight-loss program tailored specifically to your dog. Below are some of the weight-loss strategies your veterinarian may suggest:

• Adopt an exercise routine
• Reduce calories by limiting current food or changing to a diet food
• Eliminate table scraps
• Choose healthy, low-fat treats
• Eliminate free-feeding
• Feed two to four smaller servings throughout the day
• Consider the use of slow feeders and food-dispensing toys

The KONG Wobbler presents an excellent alternative to traditional bowl feeding and makes feeding the recommended two to four smaller servings fun and easy. By slowing down and extending the joy of mealtime, the Wobbler will keep hunger under control. It also prevents the unhealthy gulping and rapid eating that can lead to other digestive problems like bloat.

The KONG Genius line is named in honor of geniuses Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci; they are designed to stimulate a dog’s curiosity and hold his or her attention. These toys are great for helping to combat boredom and separation anxiety. They can also be used as treat-dispensing toys on their own or in connection with other Genius toys for an increased challenge. Genius toys are great for puppies and adult dogs alike.