There is nothing sadder than a fat, out of shape, obese dog. A pooch in this condition speaks volumes not about the dog, but about the owner. If people don’t want to take care of themselves, that’s there problem. But dogs need our help to stay fit and healthy.
Dogs need exercise just like people. Dogs are a lot like people in that exercise comes easy to them early on in life. Natural play tendencies give them and us alike all the physical activity that we need. Unfortunately a modern sedentary life leads us to abandon natural play in favor of computers and other pursuits that require no exertion. That’s where the problem begins.
The next step is poor nutrition. We eat poorly in the modern world. Very often our dogs eat just like we do. Combined with a lack of exercise, this is a sure route to an early death. Early in life, youth can fight against neglect and we don’t see the ill effects. But as we age, the signs show up and begin to cause problems. This is the same for dogs. These days we see more out of shape old dogs than ever.
In nature, dogs are active until the day they die. There is a little slowdown, but they have to keep moving to live. The situation is no longer like that and dogs now spend the majority of their golden years sedentary. It’s your job to get them up and moving.
At the age of six years, a dog is considered to be reaching old age. Though to us they may seem you, biologically they are already on the down slope of life. It’s imperative to get them up and moving.
The biggest problem that lack of exercise causes is weight gain. Obesity is considered the single biggest health issue in existence. Though it’s harder to see obesity in dogs, the majority of domesticated dogs are overweight. A dog with the correct weight should appear skinny. The ribs should be visible and easy to feel with the fingers. Though you may feel sorry for your skinny pooch and he will certainly do his best to make you think he is starving, the truth is that he is perfectly fine and healthy. Avoid his sad stares and maintain a healthy diet.
Exercise for your dog does not mean an expensive gym membership or a lot of designer exercise clothing. It can be as simple as a daily walk on a leash around the block. If this is too much work for you, simply tossing a tennis ball in the backyard will exercise the dog without causing you any effort. If you are responsible enough to own a dog, you can find a way to give them the exercise they need and deserve.