Carefully monitoring your pet’s weight can help him live a longer and healthier life.  Researchers recently found that overweight dogs show more visible signs of aging, such as graying muzzles, trouble walking, and being less active.

Results of a recent 14-year study that followed 48 Labrador Retrievers for their entire lives showed that lean-fed dogs live an average of 15% longer, and lived healthier lives as well! They required treatment for a chronic illness, such as osteoarthritis, 2 years later than the average dog.

Thirty-two percent of pet owners believe their pets are overweight.  This is consistent with other studies that show at least 25% of American pets to be overweight.  Ask your vet if your pet is at an ideal weight or if they could stand to lose a few pounds.  Your vet can help you determine your pet’s body condition and set a goal for weight loss.

Ask your vet about recommended diets for weight loss and appropriate amounts to feed.  They can provide useful information to burn more calories and shed those extra pounds.  Remember that weight loss takes time and a commitment from the entire family. The goal is a longer and healthier life for your pet!