K9 Magazine Warns on Dog Food Portion Sizes

K9 Magazine, a leading lifestyle publication for dog lovers, has produced a guide for dog owners who may be unwittingly shortening the life expectancy of their beloved pets through a lack of portion control when feeding.

Animal experts such as the Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan and TV trainer Victoria Stilwell have all commented on the importance of not overfeeding pet dogs.

Canine obesity has become a rising problem over the past few decades as dog waistlines have expanded due to the dual problem of taking in too many calories and not being given the opportunity to expend them through exercise.

K9 Magazine's guide to portion control in dog food, touches on the health implications of over-feeding.

Publisher and editor, Ryan O'Meara, explains:

"Without question, over feeding and lack of suitable levels of physical exertion are the leading cause of obesity in dogs (as well as people).

For many dog owners, feeding the right portion size for their dogs is something left to a fairly non scientific approach of measuring out enough food to fill the bowl. In fact, there are many owners (because I used to be one of them) who find it hard to put a bowl of dog food down if it’s not positively full to the brim, this despite the fact that different types of dog food have completely different nutritional components."

He's joined in this view by dog experts Cesar Millan and Victoria Stilwell, both of whom have publicly spoken about the problem of dog obesity. Millan says:

“If dogs ran the world, the Canine Café would be open 24 hours a day. Most dogs love to eat. And eat. And eat some more. But though it’s tempting to show your love with extra helpings, or by making food available all day, overfeeding does no dog any favours. (Overweight pets can suffer from the same ailments as hefty -humans do.) There is no precise answer as far as how much to feed a dog, -because caloric needs vary with size (a Chihuahua doesn’t chow down like a -Mastiff), age, and activity level. One rule of thumb is that if Sir Barksalot is -energetic and keeping his figure trim, he’s probably eating the right amount. Food packaging offers recommendations, but remember: Those are just guidelines."

According to animal charity, the PDSA, who have mapped the UK's fat pet population:

"A fit dog lives longer. Obesity amongst pet dogs is a growing problem. If a dog is overweight it puts extra strain on various parts of the body and may well shorten the dog’s life.

A tendency toward obesity in dogs stems from the fact that many popular diets are usually significantly higher in carbohydrate than protein."

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