Dog obesity is an epidemic that is affecting millions across the country. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Having a fat dog may seem cute or harmless but nothing could be further from the truth. An obese dog endures more suffering than you may realize. The good news is, with proper knowledge and information, it can be prevented. Many symptoms can even be reversed!
Keeping your dog healthy and fit will make for a better quality of life for you and your best pal to share together.
The most common cause of dog obesity is simply overeating and/or eating the wrong food. Additionally, dogs need exercise- if they aren’t burning off the extra calories, you’ll quickly begin to notice an increase in weight. Frequent walks and a balanced diet is crucial for healthy weight in dogs. Feeding a dog too much food, too many treats, or giving them a large amount of human food will all increase weight.
There are some medical conditions that can also cause a dog with a good diet and exercise routine to be overweight. An unbalanced thyroid, insulin problems, and neutering can all cause excess weight in a dog.
Some breeds of dog are prone to putting on weight. With this in mind, it’s important to do your due diligence. Before adopting these breeds make sure you will be able to properly care for their needs:
- Bassett Hounds
- Cocker Spaniels
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Rough Collies
- Shetland Sheepdogs
Weight Loss in Dogs
Like humans, similarly, dogs are able to loss weight. Therefore, taking time to carefully see what your dog eats each day will help to determine if they are in taking too many calories. If this is the case, changes to their diet can be made immediately. Of course, be sure to gradually wean your dog off of their usual dog food.
Exercise is also key in order for your overweight dog to shed the pounds. You can take your dog for an extra walk or run or add some extra distance to their walk. Maybe even an extra trip to the dog park or allowing them extra time outside in their own yard. Surely, these simple ideas will give your dog an opportunity to burn off additional calories.
Effects of Dog Obesity
If you don’t take dog obesity seriously and treat it, it can result in numerous health problems. This includes disease, broken bones, and even death. Extra weight will also cause excess wear and tear on your dog’s muscles and joints. Obesity needs to be treated quickly since damage to muscles and joints often cannot be reversed.
Diseases resulting from dog obesity include:
- Liver disease
- high blood pressure
- heat intolerance
- breathing issues
- immune system problems
How to Prevent Dog Obesity
Certainly, dog obesity can be prevented. Starting your puppy out on a vet-approved food plan from the start will ensure additional calories don’t add up. Also, have an exercise plan for your pup and stick to it! These are simple yet important aspects of preventing obesity. Helpful items include a doggy treadmill and a running belt. These items will help make exercising your overweight dog far easier.
Sometimes, your lifestyle may not easily allow you to keep your pet active. Try finding a dog walker in your area so your pet can get the exercise they need. Monitoring the number of treats and the ingredients in those treats is another vital step. Far too often, treats are given out for training and as rewards. You have to careful though! It is easy to overfeed a dog, especially, with too many treats on top of their regular food.
Obesity causes unnecessary pain, discomfort, and risks to dogs. Remember, your dog depends on you to keep them healthy and happy. Furthermore, you should know exactly what your breed of dog should weigh and work to maintain that weight. This is essential to the health and well being of your dog. The moment you notice an unusual increase in your dog’s weight, take immediate action! Do not allow it to get out of control.
Lastly, seek the help of your vet and dog walker- they can help keep your furbaby at a healthy weight. Working as a team will ensure your pet enjoys all life has to offer for years to come.