Are There More Fat Dogs in Households With a New Baby?

So many factors can contribute to K9 weight gain, from overfeeding to a leg injury that necessitates restricted activity. The end result is a dog...


So many factors can contribute to K9 weight gain, from overfeeding to a leg injury that necessitates restricted activity. The end result is a dog whose joints are overtaxed by all that excess tonnage – like the poor Dalmatian at left.

But did you ever guess that the arrival of a baby could also make Spot look fat? Well, it can.

Just picture Spot hunting for scraps at the foot of baby’s high-chair – and scoring all sorts of new additions to his diet. Later, when baby is a toddler munching away at Cheerios and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish in Ziploc bags, the pickings become even richer.

No wonder the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention recently declaredthat one-fifth of the countrys 170 million-plus dogs (and cats) are considered obese. According to Flexcin International, makers of FlexPet (the joint relief supplement for pets that my Sheba swears bybecauseit’s the only one to contain CM8, and has been clinically proven to stimulate joint fluid lubrication, strengthen cartilage, and increase mobility), pet obesitymay be growing at the most alarming rate in households where a new baby is present.

Customer advisor specialists at the company — i.e., the folks answering the phones — say new parents represent the fastest-growing demographic inquiring about dog-joint health issues relating to pet obesity.

Flexcin analyzed demographic data from its team of customer advisor specialists to determine the largest percentage of pet obesity-related inquiries. In a six-month analysis from June through December 2010, news parents represented roughly a third (32.3 percent) of all dog-joint health inquiries tied to overweight pets (up from 25.7% in 2008). Elderly pet owners came in second at 28.5 percent.

Other data findings:

* 78.4% of new parents said their dog was able to freely eat food that dropped from the babys high-chair.
* 67.7% said they paid less attention to their dogs food portions.
* 64.6% said they had less time for dog walks or didnt feel comfortable bringing the dog during baby stroller walks.

Through the research and our discussions with veterinarian experts, new parents tend to let down their guard when watching their dogs diet because their focus is clearly on addressing their new baby, said Tamer Elsafy, CEO and founder of Flexcin.

Veterinarian Patrick Mahaney says its important to monitor a pets body condition to observe possible obesity signs. Make sure you can feel your dogs ribs and the spaces in between each rib,” the doc says. “Also, check to see if the dogs abdomen bulges out or swings down towards the ground.”

Experts repeatedly warn that overfeeding can be extremely dangerous for dogs and pets, especially when processed, heart-unhealthy “people” food is involved. Pets whogain “just a few” pounds can add significant stress to their bodys frame, which ultimately leads to joint pain and arthritis. The right mix of diet and exercise is the best way to prevent any pet from gaining weight (or any human, for that matter).

If you want to give your dog “people food,” by all means make it scraps of meat and all the vegetables Spot can eat; avoid empty-calorie carbs.

Have you recently welcomed a new baby, and noticed that your dog has packed on unwanted weight? Please tell us about it in the comments!

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