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Pet Friendly Canada Newsletter - June 2010

PET QUOTES

"The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals." (Anonymous)

"There's no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that

Featured Story: LIFE LESSONS FROM A BORDER COLLIE ANGEL

Source: PawFriendly.com - Pet Stories Dog story

"The day my life changed for the better was the day I met Killian, my Border Collie Angel. I have always loved animals, but I didn't know anything about Border Collies. A friend of mine was a breeder and she had her first litter. On impulse, I had to buy one.

This little puppy, known as King of the Pups, attached to me immediately. I would lie down on the floor and he would lie on my chest. If I left the room, he would cry until I returned. It didn't matter if someone was in the room with him or not. I felt the pull on my heart strings. Little did I know that I was making such huge investment in myself. From that day forward the Border Collie formerly known as 'King of the Pups', became Killian, my personal angel..." [Continue Reading]

PHOTOS FROM PROUD PET PARENTS

Lincoln & Lacey in Alberta

Zoe & Timon
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FAT DOGS - COMBATTING CANINE OBESITY
- from dogsdogsdogs at HubPages.com

Canine obesity is on the rise. People lead such busy lives and what they eat, and how much they exercise, also affects what they feed their dogs and how much exercise their dogs get. It can sometimes be hard to realize that your dog is fat, especially for those breeds that have thick coats. But canine obesity is a serious health risk for your furry pal and taking action now can help him to lead a healthier life.

It's important to remember that an extra 5 pounds on your dog means more than an extra 5 pounds on a person. An extra 5 pounds on a normally 50 pound dog, for example, is 10% overweight. An extra 5 pounds on a normally 20 pound dog is 25% overweight!

Fat dogs are at higher risk for health problems which can lead to shortened lives. On the other hand, fit dogs who are at a healthy weight tend to be more active which means they can enjoy all sorts of activities with their people.

DIFFICULTIES IN RECOGNIZING OBESITY IN DOGS

I was chatting with a vet one day at the dog park, and she told me that many vets are uncomfortable telling pet owners that their dogs are fat. Some pet owners take it as a personal insult, or are upset because they think that their dogs are being insulted.

Often times your dog's weight gain is gradual, and you may genuinely not notice that it's happened: you now have a fat dog.

Some people don't know how to assess whether their dog might be carrying some excess weight too. It's particularly hard with the fuzzy, fur-ball types of dogs. This is where a consultation with a vet can help you determine if any action needs to be taken to bring your pet back to a healthy weight.

The first step is to recognize obesity. Then steps can be taken to help your dog lead a healthier life.

CAUSES OF CANINE OBESITY

  • "Free-feeding" - always leaving a bowl of food out for your dog can easily lead him to overeat. Not all dogs will overeat, but many will. When they have food available whenever he feels like eating, he may just eat... and eat... and eat... until the bowl is empty.

  • Overfeeding at meals. Those "feeding guidelines" on the back of pet food packages are only guidelines - they need to be adjusted to every individual dog. For example, one of my dogs eats just over half the amount listed in the guidelines. If you notice that your dog is gaining weight when feeding the amount in the guidelines, then cut back. If he seems a little thin and always hungry, gradually give him a bit more until you find the right amount so that he maintains a healthy weight.

  • Too many treats. It's hard to resist those big, soulful doggy looks that say that they're starving and would really, really, appreciate just a little treat. Too many snacks, whether they're doggy treats or table scraps, can also lead to weight gain.

  • Too little exercise. Dogs need fresh air and exercise just like people do. Exercise will help them to burn the calories they take in for their meals.

  • Aging. Your dog's metabolism will probably slow down as he gets older.

  • Spaying & neutering. Spaying & neutering may lead to a lower metabolic rate in dogs, but being "fixed" doesn't automatically make your dog fat. Too much food and too little exercise makes a fat dog.

  • Medical problems. In rare cases, a dog's weight gain may be tied to a medical issue.

Continue reading for the following additional information:

  • Dog Health Problems Related to Excess Weight
  • How to Tell if Your Dog is Overweight
  • What You Can Do to Help Your Dog Maintain a Healthy Weight

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