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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is your Dog Stressed?

I recently spoke with Dr Peter Higgins BVSC,MBA who is Media spokesman for Dogs NSW at the 2008 Sydney Retirement and Lifestyle Expo. He full endorsed pet sitting or live-in house sitting as a preferred alternative to kennels. He said putting dogs in kennels can lead to behavioural problems in Dogs.

To back this here is a link to an article reprinted by permission from author Dr Kristie:

Is your Dog Stressed

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Dogs and Obesity

Unfortunately, even dogs become overweight. This can be the direct result of overfeeding, improper diet, a lack of exercise, a health condition, or a combination of reasons. Obesity in a dog can have dire consequences for his overall health.

Obesity in our pets may creep up on them in such a gradual manner, that at first, we simply don’t notice it. Then, when it is no longer easy to ignore or pretend that our dog isn’t overweight, we simply cannot bring ourselves to change his diet. We believe that it will hurt his feelings, upset him, cause him to experience hunger pangs, and more.

Our love for our pet clouds the issue to the point that it may keep us from doing the right thing. Restricting our dog’s diet seems cruel and unnecessary. After all, lots of people are overweight, so why shouldn’t dogs be too? However, it really is in the dog’s best interest to lose some weight and get back to the ideal weight for his breed.

Fortunately, manufacturers of dog food have produced some ideal feeds for lowering a dog’s caloric intake. Instead of restricting the quantity of food as dog owners have had to do in the past, today’s owners of overweight dogs can substitute a special diet for their dog’s needs.

As with any change in diet, the special feed should be introduced gradually into your dog’s daily meals. Begin by substituting one third of your dog’s regular dog food with the new specially formulated dog food. Watch your dog for changes in his digestion and elimination processes.

If all goes well, gradually increase the amount of the special diet food and decrease the amount of the regular dog food that your dog usually enjoys. You should begin to notice your dog slimming down after a few weeks. If you don’t see a change in his weight, you may want to check into the possibility of his obtaining food elsewhere, like the cat’s dish.

The special diets are formulated to include the required nutrients to maintain a dog’s good health. The important difference is that the special diet contains fewer calories. The reduction in calories is obtained without sacrificing bulk. Your dog is able to partake of a diet that will satisfy his hunger while reducing his caloric intake.

Depending upon the severity of your dog’s obesity, the new diet may have to remain in place for a few weeks to a few months. Adding additional exercise to your dog’s daily routine will help to speed up the weight reduction process. You may want to consider consulting your dog’s veterinarian before incorporating any changes.

Ian White ©2008

If you dont have time to exercize your dog - consider employing a local pet sitter/dog walker. This is a growing service in your area as families become time poor and animal lovers opt out of the rat race.