In Australia, a study has shown that more than 1 in 3 dogs are overweight*
Labradors are a breed shown to have lower than expected energy needs, they love their food and scavenge for treats. This means they are often unwittingly overfed and as a result, are often overweight.
An overweight or obese Labrador has a lower than expected life span and a reduced quality of life.
Being overweight is associated with many medical problems such as osteoarthritis (particularly significant for labs who are unfortunately prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and cruciate ligament disease), cardiovascular disease, diabetes and liver disease.
Your lab can be fit and healthy by putting simple steps in place at home in combination with expert support.
- Weigh your dog (you holding your dog, then weigh yourself only and deduct this from the combined weight)
- Get a standard measure cup for feeding (not a huge mug!).
- Measure the amount you’re feeding your buddy daily with that cup, note any treats (human and dog) and write it all down.
- From here we can assess the diet and slowly reduce the amount fed daily with the aim of safe weight loss at 1-2% per week.
- Regular daily exercise - weight loss is all about diet AND exercise - the intensity and the amount depends on the size of your lab and on their current fitness.
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*Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
The Veterinary record (Impact Factor: 1.49). 06/2005; 156(22):695-702.