How to Manage Your Dog's Weight
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IS YOUR DOG CARRYING EXTRA WEIGHT?
Between 25 and 40% of dogs are overweight, but often, owners don't know it until they take their dog to the veterinarian for another reason. Yet, even veterinarians can't tell if a dog is fat just by its weight. Ideal weight varies by breed, and quite widely within breeds. There's no ideal weight chart for all dogs!
You can judge your dog's condition by placing your hands on each side of his rib cage. Are the ribs protruding? Your dog may be too thin. Can you feel individual ribs easily, and is your dog's abdomen slightly tucked up when viewed from the side? That's the sign of ideal weight. If you can't feel the ribs easily, your dog has no waist, and his abdomen drags, he's too fat. Your veterinarian can help you further evaluate your dog's weight.
YOUR DOG’S WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
Before beginning any weight loss program with your dog, discuss it with your veterinarian.
You can begin your dog's weight-loss program by reducing caloric intake by 25% of his maintenance intake, and then decrease it by 10% increments every two to three weeks until a 1% weight loss per week is achieved. This means that, if your dog weighs 15 pounds, a 1% loss would be about 2-1/2 ounces.
If you feed one large meal a day or keep food available at all times, try dividing the daily ration into several small meals (at least two meals a day) and pick up what has not been eaten 30 minutes after each meal.
WHAT CAUSES CANINE OBESITY?
Dogs gain weight for the same reason that people do—they eat more calories than they use. Today's dogs share another problem with their parents: lack of activity. Most parents are gone all day and come home too tired to play with the dog.
Also, as dogs age, or after they are spayed or neutered, their metabolism might slow causing them to require less food.
Another reason for weight gain is frequent, high-calorie treats. Sometimes, more than one family member is feeding the dog, and the dog sure isn't telling!
SUPPORTING YOUR DOG'S WEIGHT LOSS
Losing weight isn't easy. Changing habits is the key. Here are some ways you can help:
Determine who feeds the dog what and when. (Don't be embarrassed to admit you give your dog treats. Dogs are expert beggars.)
Substitute affection for treats. Give a pat or throw a ball when he noses your hand.
Take your dog for a walk more often. Even 10 minutes a day can help.
Feed him more often. It takes energy to digest food. Dividing your dog's daily ration into two or three feedings will help.
Reducing your dog's regular food amount by 25% should bring results.
If your dog is more than 15% overweight, your veterinarian might recommend a special food. Diet foods should be low in fat (under 20% of calories from fat).
Your goal is to help your dog be healthier, so select his food carefully. Some diet foods just add fiber to help the dog feel full. This can result in reduced digestibility, large stool volume, frequent trips to the backyard, and decreased skin and coat condition because the dog isn't getting enough fat and nutrients.
Find a food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Healthy Weight, that has normal fiber levels to keep your dog's digestive system working properly. It should have high-quality protein so your dog doesn't lose muscle tone and essential fatty acids to help keep his skin flexible and coat glossy throughout the dieting process. After your dog reaches ideal weight, select a maintenance food to keep weight steady."
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- adp_description_block55Does Dog Food Expire & How To Know If It Has?
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As a pet parent, do you find yourself wondering how long does dog food last? If so, you’re not alone! In this blog, we will take you through everything you need to know about dog food expiry.
Dogs require a balanced meal every day. As a pet owner, you can choose between dry and wet foods. Dry dog food usually resembles a biscuit or kibble. On the other hand, wet dog food combines meat products or other protein sources with a gravy that incorporates grains, minerals, and vitamins. Whatever your dog finds palatable, make sure their nutritional requirements are met.
Diets that are high in protein are good for dogs. A significant source of energy is found in dietary fats, which are either derived from plant seed oils or animal fats. They offer essential fatty acids, like omega-3s, that are necessary to preserve the health of your dog's skin and coat. Additionally, carbohydrates support your pet's digestive health and provide energy for them to continue with their regular activities.
While it is important to focus on your pet’s daily nutritional intake, you should also make sure that the food packets are still fresh. Serving expired dog food will deprive your canine companion of the key vitamins and minerals they need to keep healthy. Hence, it is important to examine the labels and expiration dates before making a purchase.
Understanding Shelf Life Vs Expiry Date
The amount of time a product is useable and suitable for consumption is referred to as its shelf life. In contrast, expiry date is the last day that a perishable product, like food, will be at its highest quality.
If you are wondering does dog food expire, the answer is a yes. In fact, the contents and types of preservatives used do affect the shelf life of a food item. So, to guarantee your dog's safety, pet food producers set expiration or best by dates. Unopened canned foods have a shelf life of two years from the date of manufacturing, whereas unopened dry pet foods typically have a shelf life of 12 to 18 months. Plan to open and use the dog food before the expiration date. You can usually find this date on the bottom of the can containing dog food.
Effects Of Eating Expired Dog Food
Now that you know dog food expires, let’s examine the effects of serving expired food to your pet:
After consuming spoiled food, dogs generally exhibit the same gastrointestinal symptoms as people do. These symptoms could include vomiting, diarrhea, and passing wind. Spoiled foods can also contain bacteria that can disturb the equilibrium in the gut and intestines, causing the body to excrete more fluids in an effort to wash them out. What’s more is that moldy dog food can contain mycotoxins like vomitoxin, which can cause serious gastrointestinal disorders.
Dogs can become paralyzed from botulism. It is a rare condition occurring when canines consume contaminated food. The poison gets absorbed in the intestines and passes into the bloodstream, thus paralyzing dogs.
Other health issues
Another consequence of feeding your pet spoiled dog food is malnutrition. Before turning moldy, spoiled foods usually lose their vitamin and mineral value. This suggests that even if the food doesn't upset your dog's stomach, it is still not giving your pet what they require. Your dog may become lethargic if daily nutritional demands aren't met. This can eventually result in bone issues and organ failure, if not recognized as early as possible.
Best Practices For Storing Dog Food
Even if you have a food item that is still within its best by date, improper storage could lead to early contamination and food degradation. Here are some steps you must take to prolong the shelf life and maintain food quality:
Purchasing multiple boxes of treats may save you from making repeat visits to the shop. However, keeping so much stock might increase the likelihood that your dog's food goes bad before it gets completely consumed. Therefore, shop frequently if you don’t want your dog’s food to expire.
Refrigerate wet dog food
The shelf life of fresh, wet items can be increased by keeping them in the freezer. Any unopened canned food should be sealed with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.
Use clips to store dry food
Use chip clips to seal the food bags and keep moisture out. You could also store your pet’s food in its original packaging and stack it in a cool, dry place with little exposure to heat and light. Avoid keeping dry dog food open.
What To Do With Expired Dog Food?
Dog food that has expired needs to be tossed out right away. There are also waste management facilities that compost used pet food.
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