Feb 22, 2010

Misleading Labels Can Lead to Overweight Dogs & Arthritis


We care so much about the health of our dogs, especially when it comes to weight and sometimes the parallels between human health and dog health are surprising.  Just as people search for low calorie food and often find the labels to be confusing, low calorie dog food labels can be misleading as well.  There is a link between being overweight and arthritis in people AND in our pet buddies!  

I saw this article today and thought that this information about calories in dog food was helpful.  Considering that nearly 50 percent of pets are overweight or obese, I find it especially relevant.  

Researchers examined nearly 100 commercially available pet diets with weight management claims such as low calorie dog food. They found that dry dog food varied tremendously in the amount of calories per cup.  Take home message, weighing your dog or judging their body condition is more important than the instructions on the food.  You really can pick up your dog and weigh them on your own scale once per week and see if they are really losing weight.  If not, then reduce the food a little more!  If you are unsure if your pet falls into the growing number of overweight pets, refer to my previous blog where I give you some tools to help you decide.  Excess weight is one the biggest contributors to pain from arthritis.

Photo: Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, a professor of veterinary clinical nutrition at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, with Cordis, a slightly overweight golden retriever. (T&G Staff / DAN GOULD)




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