Obesity has been defined as a body weight 10 to 20 percent above the ideal weight for that individual dog. The rule of thumb offered by most sources is that if you sweep your fingers lightly over your dog’s ribs and shoulders you should be able to feel the outline of the bones. If you must use pressure to find the ribs, your dog is overweight. Viewed from above, your dog should have a noticeable waist. If Bowser fails either of these two tests, it’s time for doggy dieting. Veterinarians today consider obesity to be the leading health problem among our dogs and cats. According to the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s Book of Dogs, this manifestation of malnutrition affects an estimated 25-44 percent of our canine companions.
Diabetes is a common and serious problem in pets. Formally known as diabetes mellitus (the sweet sickness), it’s a disorder of the pancreas gland. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, whose purpose is to drive nutrients, specifically glucose, or blood sugar, into the cells. It’s the body’s most important fuel molecule. Good management is the key to longevity for diabetic dogs.
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