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Canine Nutrition

Is your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Overweight?

Some studies have suggested that 60% of pets in the United States are overweight, leading to a variety of health problems for our four-legged friends.

Rosie, a Ruby Cavalier King
                                  Charles SpanielBeing overweight results in greater stress on the joints as well as the heart, makes our pets more prone to injury and surgery, and shortens their lives. Rolly-poly Cavalier puppies are cute, but being too chubby early in life can lead to obesity in an adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Weigh your pet regularly. The easiest technique for weighing your dog at home is to step on your scale alone first. Then, holding your dog in your arms, step on the scale for a second time. The difference in the two measurements is the weight of your dog.

Adult Cavalier Spaniels generally weigh 13 to 20 lbs, but keep in mind every dog is different.  How can you judge whether your Cavalier Spaniel is at a healthy weight? Take a good look at your dog (from above, i.e. an "aerial view") and follow these guidelines:

Thin
If your dog’s ribs are noticeable to the eye and too easily felt, and if his waist below the ribs is pronounced, then your pet is too thin.
Ideal Weight
You won’t generally see your dog’s ribs if he is at his ideal weight, although you should easily feel them through only a slight layer of fat over your dog’s ribs. Your dog should have only minimal abdominal fat and his waist should be noticeable. When looking at your pet from above, he’ll have a pleasing hour glass shape.
Overweight    
If your pet is overweight, you won’t be able to see your pet’s ribs or easily feel them because of the moderate layer of fat over his ribs. His waist will not be particularly noticeable due to more than necessary abdominal fat.
Obese
In an obese dog, you won’t be able to see or feel his ribs at all. Abdominal fat will be heavy and your dog won’t appear to have a waist as his abdomen will be distended.

The best medicine is always prevention. Your goal should be to keep your dog from becoming overweight in the first place.

Whenever you notice your pet starting to look a little “chunky”, it’s time to adjust his eating routine.

  • Take your dog for a few extra walks everyday.
  • Cut back on the number of treats you give him or substitute lower-calorie alternatives.
  • Switch your Cavalier to a dog food especially formulated for overweight dogs.
  • Take him to see your Vet to rule out the chance that a medical condition may be responsible for your dog’s obesity.

While you can use the food guidelines provided by the pet food manufacturer as a starting point, you need to customize the amount of food to your dog's situation. Remember, the pet food manufacturer doesn’t have any idea how active your dog is, or how many treats you give him during the day.

Be patient. Finding the right quantity of pet food and treats for your dog requires a little trial and error on your part to find the right combination for your favorite Cavalier Spaniel.

 






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