You can do more damage to a plant by overfeeding than underfeeding. Like kids with candy, plants will scarf up all the food they can find – especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Over-application of plant foods – organic or not – can be deadly.
Leaves turn a very dark green at first, then light green fading to yellow. The leaves struggle to keep their shape, and the stems lose their ability to bend and bounce back. Over production of flowers is followed by low or no production.
As it is for plants, so it is for dogs (and people by the way). Too much weight puts stress on virtually all of a dog’s organs, joints, bones and ligaments. Overweight dogs are at risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and respiratory distress. People confuse treats with love and can quite literally “love” their dogs to death.
Duke just arrived at a whopping 150 lbs; way too much weight for his frame to support. He has to be moved on a stretcher to reduce stress on his joints.
Samson and McKinley are in a little better shape, but both have a lot of work ahead. Reducing food intake is an obvious first step. Pumpkin, which is loaded with fiber, can be added to meals. Calories are burned through walks and play, ensuring our pups do not overdo. It is very important to start slowly and gradually increase time and distance to avoid over-exertion or injury.
One of the most beneficial exercises is swimming as buoyancy takes pressure off the joints. Thankfully, a generous supporter gifted Homeward Bound with a pool specially designed for the dogs and their volunteer people. Swimming helps burn calories and strengthens joints and muscles.
And, of course, there is nothing better than a nice cool splash on a hot summer day – even for reluctant first timers! Click here for a short video of McKinley being introduced to the water for the first time.
As we all know, it is a lot harder to undo excess than to maintain a healthy balance in the first place. So do your dog and yourself a favor – show your affection with play and exercise instead of excess treats. You’ll love each other a lot longer that way!