Your pet’s health is our top priority at Pets Best Insurance. To learn more about dog insurance and the affordable options we have for dogs and cats, visit www.petsbest.com.
Humans aren’t the only ones who pack on the pounds throughout the year. And sometimes despite your best intentions, your dog still can’t seem to slim down.
Julie, one of our Pets Best Insurance Facebook friends asked, “Why won’t my dog lose weight?”
Dr. Fiona, DVM, responded to Julie’s question for Pets Best Insurance. Dr. Fiona says, this is a very difficult question to answer without knowing how old your dog is, how overweight he or she is, what diet you are feeding, and what his or her lifestyle / activity level is like. However, here are two reasons a dog may be overweight and two solutions to help.
In general, there are two reasons for an overweight dog:
1) Underlying Health Problems
There are some underlying endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism that can contribute to weight gain in dogs. Once illnesses such as underactive thyroid have been ruled out by a veterinarian (usually a blood test is needed for this), it is a simple formula of calories consumed versus calories burned that is responsible for determining a dog’s weight.
2) Calories In vs. Calories Out
As pets gain more and more footing as members of our families, they’re increasingly allowed into every aspect of our lives – even our beds. A 2010 Pets Best Insurance policyholder survey revealed that 27% of dogs and 8% of cats sleep on their owners’ beds all night, every night – with another 40% sharing sleeping space at least part of the time.
The image of multiple species curling up together as a source of warmth and comfort is a delightful one, but is it a good idea? Here are three points to consider before you open your bed to your fur family.
Zoonotic diseases are those that can be transmitted between species, specifically from pets to humans. Any time close spaces are shared, the risk of spreading diseases is greater. If your pet is in bed with you, please be sure to have them up to date on deworming, flea prevention, and free of illness. Pets can transmit ringworm and scabies and even be a source of bacteria, to name a few examples. People with compromised immune systems and small children probably shouldn’t share sleeping quarters with a pet due the increase risk of contracting illnesses.
Pets Best recently asked Facebook friends to share some of the worst pet-related gifts they’ve ever received, and here’s what they said:
“The worst is chicken treats made in China.” – Monica, CA
“A bomber jacket complete with lambs’ wool lining for our miniature Schnauzer, Gus.” – Cathi, MS
The housing downturn made renting instead of owning a popular choice for many Americans. Many families have turned to smaller spaces to save money. And in terms of roommates, one of the most agreeable cohabitants can be of the canine variety – they don’t steal your groceries or borrow your clothes, and they can be a constant source of companionship and unconditional love! Living in an apartment is possible with a dog, given a little foresight and planning. Here are some considerations when downsizing with your pooch, or adopting a dog into your current apartment situation.
1. Be realistic
There are some breeds and temperaments of dogs that are not well-suited to apartment life. Dogs that are very high energy, such as a Labrador or Border collie, may really struggle being confined to a small space. Often the frustration of being cooped up and bored translates into destructive behaviors like chewing.
Especially large breeds won’t fit well in tiny spaces, either. Take an honest look at your main living areas and map out space for a kennel, dog bed, food dishes and toys. You may discover you’ll be better off with a 20-lb. mutt than the Chesapeake Bay retriever you’ve always wanted.
As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” the same holds true for the four-legged members of the family. Dogs often operate on a their own internal hunger cues and getting them to eat regular nutritious meals can be tricky. Watching your pooch skip dinner can be disconcerting, but what can you do and how serious is it?
Any time a normally enthusiastic dog who never skips a meal becomes reluctant to eat or refuses food, consult with your veterinarian. This could be a sign of an underlying illness. Especially if refusing food is accompanied by other clinical signs, prompt veterinary attention is warranted. Pet health insurance is an invaluable tool to ensure your pet gets the top notch care they need!