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One thing you may be asking yourself that causes concern for many Lhasa owners. Is my Lhasa Apso overweight? Below I have listed some points to look out for and advice that will help you discern if your Lhasa Apso is overweight. These are the same points I look at to control my Lhasa Apso weight.
- Look for their ribs
- Too much fat around the spine, hips, and tail
- Their accessories not fitting correctly
- Becoming less active
- Breathing difficulties
- Health problems in overweight dogs
- Solutions to help reduce fat
Look for their ribs
One of the easiest ways to determine if your Lhasa Apso is overweight is to look at their ribs, well feel them would be more appropriate, as our Lhasa Apso does have a wonderful coat making a visual check impossible. The best way to perform this is to stand behind your pet and place your two thumbs on the spine, just behind the shoulders then close your hands around their rib cage.
Now gently caress the rib cage feeling if the ribs are easy to feel or if they are covered in a layer of fat. If you feel this layer of fat then you need to start paying attention to their diet. Because of the Lhasa Apso coat, this can go unobserved for a time and before you know it your dog is overweight and may start to get health problems.
Too much fat on the spine, hips, and tail
The hips are another good place to see if your pet is getting on the plump side, as above with the long coat it is impossible to visually check their hips so you have to resort to the above method of hands-on, an amount of fat on the hips more than just a fine cover is the sign that your Lhasa Apso is obese, check the spine at the same time to verify for excess, you should be able to feel that backbone, if not that is a sure sign of your pet being overweight!
As you finish feeling down the spine towards the tail take a quick look where the tail leaves the body, in this area, there should be no excess fat, there is? That is again another sign your dog is overweight. Keep these checks going and now verify the waist, we like to have our nice waistline, your pet too should have a narrower area between the rib cage and the hips. Again your Lhasa is overweight if this area is larger than the rest of the body.
Now that you have controlled these areas you have to come to a conclusion as to whether or not your Lhasa Apso is overweight. With a positive response, you have to make a decision so to reduce this fat and serious health problems that will occur in obese dogs.
Their accessories not fitting correctly
Now here is a good tip to alert you to your Lhasa Apso getting overweight. When you put on their collar, do you find the collar getting more difficult to get on? did you have to make a new adjustment? I found on Easy Dog some cute collars, I invite you to check out their site and the collar choices on EzyDog Have you increased the size by an extra hole?
Remember that you should be able to get two fingers under the collar for a correct fit around their neck. Not following this tip can hurt them, if you can only just get one finger under their collar it could start to choke your dog. Three fingers under they could get their head out, and run off!
Carefully keeping an eye on this will help you determine if your pet is gaining weight. One more item to watch is their body jackets, these can be used as an indicator of weight gain, do you find it getting more difficult to close that zipper or the buttons? You do! Then beware your Lhasa Apso is gaining weight. Take the necessary actions before it becomes out of hand.
Becoming less active
The Lhasa Apso is a lively little fella most of the time, always running and exploring their territory. If you see signs that these activities are getting less you need to ask the question why? Is my Lhasa getting old? then it’s normal he is slowing down his activity or is he becoming overweight and cannot run so well? The extra weight has to be carried around and all this will exhaust out your dog much sooner. After doing the above checks you will now have the answer, so what can you do to help? Below I will give you some remedies to help control your Lhasa Apso and their weight problem.
Breathing difficulties in your pet is another sign that they could be overweight, check out the controls outlined above and if your Lhasa is not overweight after these controls then go to your vet urgently to determine what the breathing problem could be. If however after your control, and you think your dog is overweight then this can cause breathing difficulty. Mainly because the surplus fat restricts their lungs from expanding fully to refill. Action must be taken to relieve your pet from this stress.
Health problems in overweight dogs
Overweight dogs can get many health problems and of course, the extra pounds in your pet puts extra stress on their joints which can turn into arthritis. Their tiny muscles and ligaments are being worked overtime to carry those extra pounds. The heart is also put under increased stress and has to work harder just to perform routine movements.
Fat is good, and we need a little to keep us warm when times get colder, but too much fat can lead to liver problems in your Lhasa, as the liver gets a larger than the normal build-up of fat it will restrict the correct functioning of the liver. Is your Lhasa Apso a female? Being overweight can hinder their giving birth to puppies and may need your vet’s intervention by surgery, and already being overweight this is an added risk for anesthetic assistance.
Solutions to help reduce fat
So now you have realized that your Lhasa Apso is overweight you have to help your pet lose weight and the sooner this is started the better. The first thing to do is to check their diet and amount of fat in the food. All the details of the fat, protein and carbohydrates on bagged food will be detailed to help you chose the best for you Lhasa Apso, this can be found on the packaging. If you prefer to give your pet home-cooked foods then follow carefully a diet your vet has programmed for you and your Lhasa. Alternatively, you can purchase dietary foods NomNomNow that will help the fight against the Battle of the Bulge!
Once you have the correct diet, I recommend you ask your vet to help in this choice, you need to get the exercise routine planned. You can create many plans to exercise your dog, the easiest and best for you and your Lhasa is to go on long walks together, a good start should take around twenty minutes, longer would be even better but do not overdo this at first.
Watch closely to see how your pet is handling this extra exercise and adapt accordingly. Alternate the walks with some moments when you play together, chasing balls, tugging on an old piece of cloth, some toys on Amazon. All these will help strengthen the muscles, increase heart strength, and burn off the excess fat. This combined with a new diet you will soon start to see results.
Now you have a weight loss plan in action you need to keep a regular weight check either at your vet or at home. Doing this at home with special dog scales makes it so easy, this one I found on Amazon. If you find it hard to keep your Lhasa on the scales one good tip is to weigh yourself first then hold your pet in your arms and get back onto the scales. With this new combined weight, you simply take away your first reading from the total, the remaining figure will be the weight of your Lhasa. Once you have reached that ideal weight for your pet then you can praise yourself for giving your Lhasa Apso a better chance of enjoying more years to come in your company. They will be so more active again, thanks to your efforts.