Based on surveys, a Standard Poodle may live for up to 12 years provided he lives a healthy lifestyle. Owners should know that good nutrition, appropriate training, regular grooming, protection against diseases and proper exercise are what a Standard Poodle needs in order to live a healthy life. As part of being a responsible owner, one should also know the diseases and other health issues that could possibly be the reason for the dog's health to deteriorate. While a lot of Poodles develop hip dysplasia or cancer, let us not forget that obesity or overweight is also rampant in Standard Poodles and other dog breeds in general.
Obesity is defined as a disease in which there is an excessive accumulation of body fats. A Poodle that weighs more than 20% of its ideal body weight (45-70 pounds for Standard Poodles) is considered overweight. Obesity is a serious medical problem that can later result to stress on heart, lungs, liver, kidney and joints, increases the risk of surgery and injury and can worsen osteoarthritis. This in general can shorten the lifespan of your beloved family pet. Obesity could be the result of decrease or less physical activity, overfeeding, genetic disposition and hormonal disorders.
A dog owner should learn how to determine the signs of obesity in order to prevent the dog from becoming one. Observe and feel your dog's body. The Poodle is considered at an ideal weight if the ribs can be easily felt and have a thin layer of fat over the ribs. An overweight dog has an increasing amount of fat over the ribs while an obese dog has heavy fat over the ribs, along the spine and around the tail. A morbidly fat dog on the other hand has a protruding abdomen and fat throughout the body.
The first step towards a healthy Standard Poodle is to assess the dog's condition. A thorough vet examination should be done to determine if there is an underlying disease. Accurate measurement of body weight, record of changes in body weight, blood cell count, serum profile, urinalysis and assessment of the dog's daily food intake and exercise are among of the few methods to come up with the correct diagnosis.
There are many things a dog owner can do to alleviate the problem. The amount of daily caloric intake should be controlled. This can be done by switching to diets formulated for weight loss or changing the amount fed daily. Read the product labels of the food you buy and watch out for fat and calorie content. Another important thing that must not be taken for granted is exercise. Long walks, play sessions and other strenuous activities help burn fat and calories thus keep the body in shape.