How to EXTEND your dogs life by 2.5 years

How to EXTEND your dogs life by 2.5 years

We all want our dogs to love a heathy and long life. They are part of our family and the loss of a pet is DEVASTATING.

And the good news is that as pet owners, we have the power to extend their lives and give them a high quality of life and it is something we are passionate about at Healthy Active Pet.

Research with data provided by Banfield Pet Hospital found that the lifespan of overweight dogs was up to 2 1/2 years shorter, on average, than the lifespan of dogs with a healthy body weight.

The study out of England, from the University of Liverpool revealed that overweight dogs overall are more likely to have shorter lives than those at ideal body weights.

dog weight loss

The study, "Association between life span and body condition in neutered client-owned dogs," was conducted retrospectively over two decades.

Using Banfield data, the researchers examined records for more than 50,000 neutered, client-owned male and female dogs aged between 6 1/2 and 8 1/2 years across 12 popular dog breeds.

The correlation between being overweight and reduced lifespan was seen in all 12 breeds, although the magnitude of the reduction differed, ranging from five months for male German Shepherd Dogs to 2 1/2 years for male Yorkshire Terriers.

There were other benefits too. The onset of chronic disease was delayed for the diet restricted dogs, meaning an improved quality of life.

The lean dogs also showed significantly less visible signs of ageing (like grey hairs) and had higher activity levels. Not only the lean dogs live longer, they looked and acted younger too!

According to the discussion by the study authors: "These results emphasise the need for veterinarians to implement steps to prevent the development of obesity in dogs under their care.

Specifically, veterinarians could use the study findings in discussions with owners of new puppies, to highlight the risk that overweight status poses to health and the need for prevention.

The findings could also be used in discussions with owners of already-obese dogs to convince them of the need to implement a controlled weight loss program."

Dog weight loss

Body Condition Scoring: Is your dog overweight?

The first step we recommend is to use a body condition chart to determine if your dog is a healthy weight, like the one below.

This will give you an idea of how much work you have ahead of you, and it will help you document your progress . 

Before embarking on any weight loss journey for your dog, it’s important to have a thorough check up at the vet to make sure there aren’t any underlying health problems causing your pet’s weight gain, such as an under active thyroid. 

Most dogs will be completely fine to follow the exercise guidelines in this meal plan, but it’s a good idea to check with your vet what an appropriate amount of exercise is for your dog if they are a bit older or have any health conditions, like arthritis. 

Unfortunately, not all vets are well versed in fresh food diets and aren’t always supportive of home cooking . This is a complex topic that relates to both the risks of poorly formulated homemade recipes, and the influence of “big pet food.” 

At Healthy Active Pet, if your dog does need to lose weight, our expert team have created a Weight Loss Program to make it easier to lose weight.

All Healthy Active Pet recipes have been formulated to meet the same standards commercial pet food in Australia is generally formulated to meet (the AAFCO standards), which will hopefully alleviate any concern.

The program is focused on health and nutrition and will help your dog be in their best health possible. View the program here

If not, finding a vet that supports fresh foods is a helpful step to successfully implementing this meal plan, as they can encourage and guide you, building your confidence and supporting you and your dog on their journey
to wellness. 

How can I help my dog lose weight?

If you suspect your dog is overweight, or even obese, and there are no underlying medical conditions, the rule of weight loss is the same for dogs as for humans: reduce calorie intake and increase calorie burn with exercise.

In order for your dog to tap into stored excess fat for energy use, they need to consume fewer calories than they require for not only exercise, but also the energy the body requires to function for digestion, making hormones, cellular repair, brain function, and the heart to beat.

Our Weight Management program is designed designed by animal nutritionists and behaviour experts to help your dog reach their optimal weight and maintain the best health possible.

You will also learn about the best way to feed and exercise your dog.

Our Dog Weight Loss Recipe Program is a 55 page program designed to get your dog in their best health possible and lose the excess kilos and promote their longevity

We will educate you, empower you and inform you.

It contains a full 4 week program designed by our pet nutritionists and experts.

The program includes home made fresh recipes and exercises to follow that are designed to help your dog reach their optimal weight.

  • Healthy Active Pet makes home cooking for dogs easy, safe - and tasty
  • Created by pet nutritionists for excellent nutrition & result 
  • Includes recipes & meal plans for dog performance & nutrition
  • Easy home-cooking recipes, personalised for your dog, plus feeding guide
  • All recipes have been formulated to meet the AAFCO standards

By following this program your dog will in their best health and you will also learn about the best way to feed your dog to ensure their receive the best nutrition possible for them

And if you are looking for a weight loss friendly food - check out our air dried turkey and sardine complete meal which is low calorie, high protein and a weight management food

Dog food


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