Week 8 Lesson 1 – WAGSTA Wellness

WAGSTA Wellness

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Week 8 Lesson 1

Do you experience guilt over your dog’s weight gain?

Owners of overweight dogs are often labelled with terms such as cruel and neglectful. And whilst excess weight gain is a serious health and welfare issue – very rarely is weight gain due to owners being uncaring or unloving of their dogs.

In fact in 99% of cases, the opposite is true!

Fat dogs tend to be the most loved dogs of all!

Check out this video to help channel your guilt towards providing a healthy and active lifestyle. And get ready to put your love to the test!

(Jump to 00:17 to skip intro. Tap cc for captions.)

Do You Express Love with Food and did this week’s video touch a note with you? Giving food as an “act of love” is a difficult habit to break and no doubt will be a challenge for many of us. But there are many other ways in which we display love. What are yours? What do you plan to do more of, in lieu of feeding?

Keep pounding the pavement!

It’s time to upload this past week’s activity tally. What is your tally and how many walk routes have you recorded? Variety is the spice of life so mix up your walk routes to keep both yourself and your dog engaged in your daily activity sessions!

Game of the Week- Simon Says

This is a great game for obedient dogs. (And great for helping train those who are not!) To play this game your dog will need to know at least three basic commands such as sit, lay down, bark, roll-over, shake, beg.

Simply say a command and see if your dog does it. Reward your dog when they get it right. Then give another command and keep your dog guessing by swapping commands around.

As a reward, use part of your dog’s treat or meal allowance or cuddles and praise.

Osteoarthritis Prevention and Management

1 in 5 dogs are arthritic, making osteoarthritis the single greatest cause of chronic pain in dogs. In general, the heavier the dog, the more likely arthritis. The link between excess body weight and early onset of this disease well documented.

So, it goes without saying, that the best preventive measure against osteoarthritis is to maintain your dog at a healthy weight. And the most effective way to alleviate arthritis pain in overweight dogs is through weight loss.

A University of Glasgow study investigated the effects of weight loss in obese arthritic dogs.

The study recorded significant improvement in lameness and pain after a commencing weight loss of just 6.1- 8.85 % body weight!

Even more buoying was the fact that dogs in the study continued to improve in-line with ongoing weight loss.

Documented improvements such as these are especially encouraging for those of us who own overweight, arthritic dogs.

Arthritis symptoms include: stiffness, trouble rising from a resting position, difficulty climbing the stairs and getting into the car, reluctance to jump, limping, swollen and painful joints and behavioral change e.g. reduced playfulness and aggression.

The development of any such symptoms should prompt a veterinary check-up.

Arthritis is best managed through weight management, regular low-stress activity (walks and swimming), pain relief and joint supplements. The combined effect of these therapies can have a profound impact in improving your dog’s everyday quality of life.

Woofs and wags,

Your WAGSTA team.

*Marshall WG, Hazewinkel HAW, Mullen D, De Meyer G, Baert K, Carmichael S. The effect of weight loss on lameness in obese dogs with osteoarthritis. Veterinary Research Communications. 2010;34(3):241-253. doi:10.1007/s11259-010-9348-7.

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