Welcome to our weekly 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' feature on 7x7.com. They've enlisted their Interim Co-President, Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, to answer your questions every Thursday. Got a question for Dr. Scarlett? Ask away in the comments!
Q: I love my golden retriever Flurry! What can I do to make sure she is with our family as long as possible? Are there healthy living tips for dogs?
A: Yes, there are! More than anything else...anything else, keeping your dog thin is surest way to keep her in the world with you as long as possible. A study a few years back showed that labs maintained slightly under “optimum” weight not only lived significantly longer than related, overweight labs, but they also enjoyed greater health.
Like us humans, the majority of our pets are overweight. If you can’t easily feel your dog’s ribs, you’ll need to get your pooch on a diet and a treadmill. Now, there are some sneaky genetic factors and something called apoptosis, programmed cell death, that spoil all bets on longevity. “Life is short, but wide.”-- is so true for our canine buddies, (and us), but keep her thin, have fun, hug often, keep having adventures and she’ll get the most out of her genes and this life.
While we can’t answer all of the questions here, please feel free to ask us during our Friday Twitter Ask the Vet Chat. If your animal’s problem is of an immediate nature, please call your vet or you can reach the SF SPCA at 415-554-3030 to make an appointment.