Plump puppies are cute but, they are not healthy. Obesity in dogs may cause a lot of diseases. It has become a global problem, accounting for more than 40 percent all around the world. Moreover, it is getting worse with time. In addition, 95 percent of owners do not realize that their fat dogs need to drop a few pounds. It is also known as the “fat pet gap,” where a chubby dog is assumed to be healthy and normal. Because of pet owners confronting dog obesity has been a really difficult task. No one considers their pet overweight. Therefore, the first thing is to overcome the denial.
Health Problems Due to Dog Obesity
Some diseases and conditions come along with extra pounds like Type 2 diabetes, Osteoarthritis in the hip, High blood pressure, Orthopedic problems, Skin disease, Cardiac and Respiratory Disease, Reduction in life expectancy, and Causes of obesity in Dogs.
When pets consume more calories than required, then they become fat. The number and size of fat cells in puppies change according to stored fat stored. They are permanent. So, dogs that become overweight at a young age face a lot of trouble losing weight. There are more chances for them to be obese in adulthood. Thus, the correct time to prevent obesity is as early as possible. If you still feel like asking why my dog is getting fat, then here are a few factors that contribute to pet obesity.
Factors That Contribute to Obesity in Dogs Are:
- Overfeeding – Feeding more than the pet will burn in exercise is the primary cause of obesity. Desk scraps, caloric foods, the number of meals, and variants in diet are contributing elements.
- Less exercise – Pets that stay indoors and lack exercise are more likely to acquire obesity.
- Misconception – the owners cannot recognize the obesity in their pets.
Physiology & Surgery
- Age – with increasing age, most dogs reduce physical activities that result in weight gain and burning fewer calories.
- Genetic predisposition – Some breeds like terrier breeds, beagles, spaniels, Labrador, and dachshunds are predisposed to weight problems.
- Neutering – A decrease in the production of sex hormones reduces energy exhaustion and can also increase hunger.
- Phenobarbital can decrease satiety, leading to overeating.
- Glucocorticoids can lead to fat deposition.
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How to Tell If Your Dog Is Obese
Both appearance and touch matter when you judge overweight dogs. One should feel the dog’s ribs while pressing its sides. Many dog food producers provide charts related to the body conditions of canines that can help to know the appropriate status of dogs.
How to Deal With Pet Obesity
As with humans, there are a few methods for slimming down. The first step is to consult with the vet about the excess weight. You must know that it is not because of an underlying disease. Also, before changing food, get your dog a check-up and talk to your vet about the best options. Dog dieting tips to lose fat:
1. Portion Meals: regulate a program and keep a record. Measure the quantity you are feeding. You may use tools like a cup or scale.
2. Schedule: provide meals at a fixed time, for a duration of about 15 to 20 minutes. Choose food that your dog dislikes to devour anymore.
3. No Mid-Meal Snacks: Dogs get a lot of calories from additional treats. These can include anything from treats to a biscuit slipped over the fence by a friendly neighbor. Those calories add up. Find out where the source of extra goodies is.
4. Avoid Obesity Dog food: Many ready-made treats like biscuits and chews can be fattening. Some dogs may feel happy with fruits or vegetables like bananas, carrots, green beans, and apple slices. As we do not have calorie information on most pet foods, veterinarians and pet owners need to be extra alert. When you try any new dog food, offer a small portion. That will check if it agrees with the digestion of your pet.
The best thing to help your heavy hound is to get moving. Get your dog checked by your veterinarian before beginning any exercise regime. The activity should be appropriate and reasonable. Start slow and prevent possible injury. There are many activities that you can do together. Some best weight-reducing programs are:
Swimming – helps in building muscles and burning calories without hurting joints.
Walking – can get both of you out of the house into the fresh air.
Fetching – it is fun and raises fitness levels.
Once your pet begins a weight management protocol, check body weight every month. Most veterinary clinics offer free use of their scales to weight pets with no appointment necessary. Adjustments to the exercise and diet protocol may be needed as weight changes occur. Be sure that family and friends know about dietary changes. A weight management protocol is effective and safe only if followed carefully and rigorously. Once your dog achieves a healthy weight, maintain a diet and exercise schedule for the rest of your life.