What is Obesity?
Obesity in Dog; Is Your Dog Bulky and Overweight?
Is Your Dog Obese? Are you wondering if your dog could be overweight or obese? Obesity is a disorder that is complex due to excessive body fat. In addition, it can be caused by lack of exercise and eating unhealthy food by your dog. Other breeds of dogs have a tendency of retaining weight leading to Obesity.
In addition to this, other factors that contribute to obesity are age, sex, reproductive status, inactivity, a lot of food intake, uncontrolled diet and palatability, environment, and dogs’ lifestyle.
Carrying for your furry friend shouldn’t involve an extra treat during training or dinnertime. Contrary, if you go overboard you might not only end up with an overweight dog but obese dog.
The good thing is obesity can be treated if you follow the solutions as advised by your veterinarian to reduce the body mass of your pet. Obesity can lead to increased risk of heart, other respiratory and chronic diseases if not treated.
Moreover, with changes in unhealthy habits for your pet can enable him to regain modest weight loss and hence improve or prevent health problems.
Causes of Obesity
- Lack of Exercise.
- Overeating (a lot of treats/dry food).
- Unhealthy food (food with a lot of fillers).
- Breed type (retaining weight).
- Low Metabolism.
- Excess Energy.
- Underlying Diseases (impairs exercise and results in excessive weight).
- Exercise increase and record progress.
- Right portions of food.
- Check on the ingredients of foods given.
- Breed type- know how to handle breeds prone to obese before taking them home.
- Avoid feeding leftovers from the table.
- Give family members pet feeding instructions.
- Feed diet rich in protein and fiber and low in fat.
- Give carrot sticks as an alternative to treats.
Dog Breeds that are affected mostly by Obesity
Weight can be a disturbing issue to dog owners especially if your dog is a breed predisposed to add weight fast.
Some breed needs more care in terms of exercise and their diet as this will affect their weight tremendously. Genetics do play a role in your dog’s weight especially some breeds tend to deposit fat more and have slower metabolisms.
As much as its disturbing, fat dogs reduce their lifespan, it is better to have a slender dog than an obese dog. Losing a dog after bonding for years can be a devastating blow to you and your family.
We can have many conflicting results after the many studies done on this subject. Dog breeds are numerous and several have been identified to be prone to Obesity as listed below:
Common Fat Dog Breeds
- Golden Retrievers.
- Cocker Spaniels.
- Labrador Retrievers.
How Food can contribute to Obesity?
Food can play a key role in keeping your dog healthy or overweight hence care should be adhered to during meal times.
Dogs subjected to cold also have altered metabolism and during this time might require food that is higher in fat.
You have had the saying you are what you eat, same case to our dogs. To avoid the many unhealthy conditions that come with overweight and excess eating kindly follow the laid down guidelines.
These are some of the key guidelines to follow during meal times.
- Ensure your dog is meeting the necessary nutrition requirements and enough calories in her food.
- If the dog is not allergic and okay with raw food include it in her diet.
- Feed more on canned food and reduce on kibbles.
- Feed small, measures and scheduled meals.
- No eating in between meals with extra treats
- Increase dog exercises and activities.
- Limit access to neighbourhoods or outdoor areas where your dog can eat more food without your knowledge.
How Weather can contribute to Obesity?
Dogs tend to gain a lot of weight during winter as they are more stationed due to low temperatures. The daily walks and running around reduces when temperatures drop. Due to discomfort dog owners are more inclined not to exercise their dogs outdoor due to cold weather. Exercises and games are very healthy for your dog.
This is when your dogs will visit more of your kitchen counter to finish off your bacon or the dustbin to keep herself busy.
This unscheduled meals at the end of the day can make her gain more weight and become overweight.
Although, dogs subject to low-temperature exposure need two to three times the normal calories as they need at a more moderate temperature.
The increase in calories leads to more fat accumulation and insulation and decreases or compensates for the amount of calorie loss from shivering and non-shivering.
During winter there is less daytime period, and it might be taxing for pet owners to take their dogs out for a longer period as compared to normal daytime periods.
Without a doubt, this shortening of daytime hours affects your dog metabolism rate also. It sets off hormonal changes to slow metabolism and conserve calorie expenditure.
- Give more indoor activities and games.
- When dogs are less active they are essentially using fewer calories hence need less dietary calories and less food, if indoor.
- If the dog is outdoor, food intake increases for more fat accumulation that helps to keep him warm.
You can spoil your dog a lot with food and lack of exercises and this is seen in many cases of dog obesity
Subsequently, Obesity is one of the common medical conditions in canines. Overweight and obese dogs can have several health problems from joint diseases, heart diseases, respiratory and chronic conditions and sometimes death.
Unquestionably dog weight loss can benefit your dog a lot with improved quality of life, increased energy for a lazy dog, improved health and long life span.
Don’t wait till your dog is looking large, get a dog chart to be certain when your dog is getting overweight and act fast. You might be shocked as looking at your dog and estimating can be deceiving.
Some breeds of dogs are prone to Obesity more than others due to low metabolism rate and high retaining conditions in their bodies.
As your dog age, its metabolism slows, moreover, if the owners continue to feed the same amount the pet will gain weight.
Due to these factors your dog can be eating right but still be obese hence it’s good for regular checkups with your veterinarian to avoid this. Lastly, remember Obesity can be a life-threatening condition, keep your pooch safe and well-exercised.