Is your dog struggling with his weight? Learning more about obesity in dogs can help you understand how to better help him improve his health.
Obesity in dogs is a common problem for many breeds, and the easiest way to help your dog’s health get back on track is to find the root of the problem and take the proper steps to assist him in losing weight.
Your dog’s lifestyle is often a reflection of your own, so if exercise isn’t high up on your list, it’s likely that your dog isn’t getting the activity he needs to be healthy. Some dogs need more exercise than others, it all depends on the breed. For some dogs, a walk every other day is more than enough, but other dogs need at least a daily run/romp.
Doing research on your dog’s breed can help you have a better understanding of the way your dog gains weight and whether or not obesity is a genetic trait you need to be aware of. Breeds like dachshunds are an example of dogs who gain weight quickly, and being overweight can start a chain reaction of a number of other health problems.
It’s most common for middle aged dogs, or dogs from ages 5-10 to become obese, although any dog at any age is at risk. As dogs get older and their ability to exercise decreases, it’s much easier for them to gain a significant amount of weight because they aren’t as active as they used to be.
What you feed your dog has a significant impact on his weight and his health. Feeding your dog too much, a fluctuating diet, table scraps, and too many treats can all impact and negatively add to your dog’s weight. The right diet makes all the difference in helping your dog keep a healthy weight. Sometimes, switching your dog’s food is all it takes to help him cut a few pounds, but obesity in dogs makes it difficult for change to happen quickly.
Significant and severe weight gain can have a negative affect on your dog’s body and can even cause permanent damage. Excess weight can cause both muscular and skeletal issues for your pet, and along with being painful, they can cause more problems further on down the road.
Obesity in dogs also poses these health risks:
- Urinary bladder stones
- Complications with anesthetic
The other major issue with obesity in dogs is that it decreases the length of your dog’s life. Dogs who are leaner live longer, and extra pounds are only taking time away from the years you and your dog have together.
It’s easy to overlook keeping track of your dog’s weight when you’re worried about making sure he stays safe or making sure he doesn’t get sick. You can help your dog live his best life by making sure his health is in check, and even if your dog is obese, it’s never too late to help alleviate your pup’s issues.
Obesity in Dogs — What Can Owners Do to Help?
The best way to deal with obesity in dogs is to make sure that your dog is eating right and exercising. Start with walks and take a deeper look at what you’re feeding him. Talk to your veterinarian to determine if the food you use is really the right choice to ensure the best health. The problem with many dogs’ weight stems from what they’re eating.
If you’re feeding your dog table scraps it might be time to cut it cold turkey. Most food we eat is too fatty for dogs to digest, and it ends up just becoming extra poundage rather than providing any nutritional benefits. You might also want to look at how many treats your dog gets throughout the day, and the brand that you’re using. Giving an unhealthy treat too often can quickly lead to weight gain.
Just like with us, exercising more can help your dog work his way back into a healthy weight range. An active dog is a happy, lean dog, and it’s also a great opportunity for you and your pup to bond. Taking your dog to the park and playing fetch or going on a walk is an easy way to build a bond with your dog and also get him to work off the weight while having fun.
Always consult with your veterinarian before you go on a health journey with your dog. Obesity in dogs can be a serious condition, and you might end up doing more harm than good. Your vet will be able to help you develop an action plan for helping your dog lose weight and recommend the best course of action to lose weight.