Is Your Fido Fit?
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things for many dog trainers is working with a canine student who is overweight. What makes the problem worse is that some veterinarians are not notifying their clientele of the dog’s issue. This can be due to the social repercussions of pointing out the dog’s problem or simply not knowing how to spot weight issues in the first place. Training with an overweight dog presents many physical issues. For an overweight dog, getting up and down in a repetitive fashion is exhausting. It cuts down on the amount of time we can actually train, as an overweight dog has far less stamina and often struggles with maintained energy. The saddest part, however, is that the dog struggles like this throughout their entire life. Instead of being light on their feet, there’s effort in every step. We don’t need the peer-reviewed studies that have pointed to being overweight as a cause for reduced life expectancy to convince us that obesity in dogs should be addressed seriously. Help must be given to our students and their owners to make sure the dog moves towards a path to becoming healthier.