Home > Case Studies > Helping My Obese Dog Exercise: A Case Study

Helping My Obese Dog Exercise: A Case Study

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 29 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Obese Overweight Dog Pet Obesity

Like many pet dogs, chocolate Labrador Milo was carrying much more weight than he should. In fact, on his last visit to the veterinary clinic, the vet had shaken his head disapprovingly and declared Milo “obese” – telling horrified owners, Ron and Linda, that they would have to take strong measures to help Milo lose weight or condemn their beloved pet to serious medical illness.

Misguided love…

“We’d got so used to seeing Milo as chubby that we never really thought about it,” admits Linda. “I mean, he just loves food and we always thought we were just spoiling him a bit by feeding him leftovers and treats and giving him more food in his bowl when he asked for it. I just hated the thought of him going hungry.”

But far from going hungry, Milo was simply eating far more than was good for him and carrying far too much weight than was healthy for a dog of his size. In fact, the vet explained to Ron and Linda that – despite being a young dog - if Milo did not lose the excess weight, he would be at great risk of arthritis, heart diseases, pancreatic disorders, circulatory problems, liver disease and many other medical conditions.

A new regime…

Ron and Linda returned home with their porky pooch determined to help him regain his healthy figure. In addition to following the vet’s advice on reducing his calorie intake through putting him on a special low-calorie diet and feeding him less treats, they also started implementing an exercise programme for Milo.

“We always thought Milo was just lazy,” says Ron. “I mean, I would take him on a walk a couple of times a week but it was usually just a short stroll around the block – he didn’t seem interested in doing much else.”

The vet had explained that Milo’s extra weight and lack of strenuous exercise meant that he was out of condition, with his muscle tone and general strength, stamina and fitness poor. So they would have to take things slowly and build up his exercise gradually.

“Canine Personal Training”

“I started taking Milo out for a walk every day,” says Ron. “And I started making the walks longer – like we would do 30 minutes instead of 20, and then gradually 40mins…until we were doing an hour. Milo seemed to struggle a bit at first – I always made sure I stopped and let him rest if he was panting really hard or something – but after a bit, he seemed to get better.”

In fact, Ron noticed that the more Milo exercised and his weight started to drop off, the more interest the Labrador started showing in exercise. He started incorporating other activities into their daily routine, such as playing fetch with a tennis ball. This was a great way to get Milo active and playing. Then Linda found another great activity for Milo: swimming.

“I was doing some research on obese dogs and I found that swimming is a great way for them to exercise because it doesn’t put any pressure on their joints and the water helps to bear their weight. Plus dogs have to work so much harder in water because of the greater resistance, so they don’t need to be swimming for as long to get the same benefit. And of course, Milo was a natural water dog!” Laughs Linda.

A new dog!

Within a few months, Ron and Linda noticed a huge change in their dog. Milo was now much more alert and interactive, showing much more interest in them and his environment. While he would always be interested in food – he was a Labrador after all! – his day no longer revolved around haunting his food bowl or the dining table, begging for scraps of food. Instead, he enjoyed his walks and play sessions and even made some new friends at the dog park, who helped to encourage him to run around and exercise even more.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Emma
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Hello, can someone please give guidance? My son was in the park yesterday with his 11 week old cockerpoo Ralph, he was playing with another…
    12 August 2018
  • MSP
    Re: Important Vaccinations for Your Cat
    This article help me to enrich my knowledge about vaccinating of a cat and its procedures . I am thankful to you who…
    10 August 2018
  • SaferPets
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    Ronel - Your Question:Jude B - thank you for your response to my posting. My kitten, Shadow (three months old) is a little…
    9 August 2018
  • Ronel
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    Jude B - thank you for your response to my posting. My kitten, Shadow (three months old) is a little too boisterous for…
    8 August 2018
  • Olli
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    @Mrconehead - you either give her the dogs back or you consider you now own them and therefore you have the responsibility :(
    7 August 2018
  • Mrconehead
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Hi Where do we stand please , our daughter has left home and left us with 2 of her dogs. One needs vet med for the rest of his life and the…
    5 August 2018
  • Trish
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    Hi I have 2 cats age 3 &8 just got a kitten my cats have met her and payed in same room without a problem but now 2 days…
    5 August 2018
  • Juen
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    @PBP - thanks for the heads-up. How awful for you all. it's not the dogs but the owners who are at fault. Tape it, photograph it if there is a…
    2 August 2018
  • PBP
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Just a warning to dog owners who walk their dogs in Gadebridge Park: I was there this evening with my dog Rosie a chocolate cocker spaniel and…
    31 July 2018
  • marry j
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    I am sick off pseudo dog lovers they haunting every free running dog and take them to kennels only because they are not on lead ,or locked at…
    29 July 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SaferPets website. Please read our Disclaimer.