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December 6, 2009

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Home » Feature » Animal Planet

Fit, not fat for dogs

IT'S never an easy task to loose weight. And although a pet doesn't need to be as slim as their female master, they must be healthy, strong and vigorous. We must keep in mind that preventing obesity is the single most crucial thing you can do to prolong the life of your dog.

In America, about 25 percent of pets have portly problems and in China you can also see obese dogs. Some owners even have the view of "the fatter, the cuter,?although some dogs look fat due to their thick fur.

But if your dog does not have a discernible waist, has a large rounded belly, the tail feels thick, you are unable to feel its ribs and spine or you can easily feel a large ring of fat around its neck, you must accept it has a weight problem.

Besides having a rounded body, you may also notice your dog is reluctant to play or walk unless it is mealtime and possibly pant more with slight exertion. At this stage, you don't need the veterinarian to tell you the pet is packing way too many pounds before you adopt a weight management program.

Solution 1: Using professional weight-reducing dog food

This is a simple and easy way to help your pet loose some weight if you are an owner who is always busy at work and don't have time to exercise the pets. This kind of diet food contains low calories and enough nutrition. Hand out the advised amount for each meal and be patient.

Solution 2: Exercise

This is always the safest, healthiest and the most scientific way of loosing weight so there is no need to list all the benefits that you and your pets can get from exercise.

Set realistic goals and make it a team effort by engaging family members and friends in helping your dog lose weight. To small-sized breeds, walk them around 20 minutes twice a day. And for large breeds, the time should be extended to at least 30-40 minutes. As your dog adapts better, the amount and intensity of the exercise can be gradually increased.

Solution 3: One meal policy

Feeding your dog at a set time everyday is of vital importance and no dog should be free-fed. If you don't feed them regularly, they will eat too much food whenever they can and worry about the next meal to follow. The ideal time for your dog to eat is in the morning so that he or she can burn off the food during the day.

Feeding one large meal at nighttime makes the dog more sluggish and the food is consequently stored as fat. Remember that all treats and table scraps should be eliminated and substitute these with healthier alternatives like fruit and vegetable.

Helping dogs lose weight can be no easy job, the same as losing weight ourselves, especially when you see those pairs of "I'm-so-hungry-please-give-me-more-food-now?eyes staring back.

So once you have determined to start any program for your overweight pet, make your plan, visit a vet, set goals, be patient and, most importantly, stick to it.Free rabies vaccine for strays

A FREE vaccine service to prevent rabies in stray animals was launched in Shanghai last month in line with the city's public health and safety policy for the upcoming World Expo.

SSAPA, together with Schering-Plough, will donate over 1,000 vaccines for stray cats and dogs in the city's communities, greenlands and parks. The campaign aims to reduce the spread of rabies, raise awareness of caring for abandoned animals and focus people on responsible raising of pets.

Details at or 6143-2446.Mutt greets the customers

This chocolate Labrador retriever named Cody works in a gas station/convenience store in Florida. The "job?started when manager Karim Mansour decided to take his dog to work with him. He put a store shirt and logo on the dog and gave him a name tag. Since then Cody greets all the customers, running to the window any time he hears the bell. What follows is generally uncontrollable laughter, much to Cody's delight.Now a canine 'companion?

In a pet industry convention in San Paolo, a company in Brazil has introduced a new product ?the dog sex toy.

PetSmiling of Brazil unveiled its "Doggie Lover Doll,?an orange dog-shaped "friend?for naughty puppies.

According to the company, the doll can help cheer up your dog when it is alone. PetSmiling owner Marcos Giroto said he came up with the idea after noticing his own dog's frustrations.

According to Giroto, his pet showed a "better quality of life?after being involved in product testing.

Investor interest in the product has spiked and the company claims orders from Germany, Japan and the United States.


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