Pudgy Pooches

July 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
We all know many Americans overeat and don't exercise enough, but studies show we're bringing our pets with us. Like their human counterparts, overweight dogs are no longer an exception. About 40 percent of man's best friends are overweight.

Your pooch is too pudgy if he weighs 20 percent or more than his ideal body weight. And just a couple of pounds make a big difference. An extra seven pounds in a dog that normally weighs 35 pounds is like an extra 30 pounds in a person who should weigh 150!

Diet and exercise are the best ways to slim down, but if that doesn't work, veterinarians can offer another option. It's called Sletrol, the first FDA approved weight loss drug for dogs.

"The biggest benefit is it causes a release of hormones that go to the brain that tell the animal that they are full," said Robert Buzzetti.

It also blocks fat absorption. In a study of 141 dogs, more than half lost 12 percent of their body weight in just four months.


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