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Overweight Dogs

Overweight Dogs Experience More Health Risks


Will Overweight Dogs Experience More Health Risks?

Simply put, overweight dogs will experience many more health risks. Is your dog gaining weight? If your pet is heavy, he (or she) is either eating more calories than they need or there may be other health issues that need to be addressed by your local veternarian.

Most likely, being overweight may add to the downfall of your dog's health, strength, and energy. If your dog is getting heavier, you owe it to yourself and your dog to find out what is causing your dog's weight gain.

What is Causing Your Dog's Weight Gain?

Some possible reasons causing your dog to gain weight.

none  Lack of Exercise:  Eating vs. exercise formula - beware if your dog eats more than he (or she) burns off. Provide enough exercise for your dog to compensate what he (or she) is eating on a daily basis.

none  Feeding Habits:  Poor feeding habits is a major cause of canine obesity and it comes in the form of table scraps or leftovers. Feeding table scraps can also create problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, or vitamin A toxicity.

none  Slow Matabolism:  A dog's matabolism will slow with age - around 5 or 6. Discuss with your veternarian how you can adjust feedings to account for this.

none  Neutering or Spaying:  Neutering or spaying your dog will slow it's matabolism down. Keeping your dog on a balanced diet with exercise can control the weight gain.

  Breed of Dog:  Certain dog breeds are more prone to weight gain. A few notable breeds are: Beagles, cocker spaniels, shelties, dachshunds, and golden retrievers.

  Hormone Disorders:  Some health disorders such as Hypothyroidism or Cushing's disease can lead to dog obesity.


Does Your Dog Need To Shed Extra Pounds?

If your dog needs to shed those extra pounds, you may want to modify the way he (or she) is being fed and what food is being eaten. It may very well be the dog food or it very well might be all the table scraps causing your dog's obesity. It could also be too many treats. Seriously consider visiting your veternarian to start your dog on a diet. Be extremely diligent about sticking to that diet. Your dog is dependent on you for it's health. Like most dogs, your dog will eat anything you put in front of him. Care should be taken your dog is not overfed. Calories add up fast and could create further health problems.

Health Problems Related To Overweight Dogs:

  • gastrointestinal problems
  • skin disease
  • pancreatitis
  • arthritis
  • liver, lung or heart disease
  • hip dysplasia
  • diabetes

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Why Your Overweight Dog Might Not Be a Happy Dog

Just like us overweight humans, your overweight dog will not be a happy dog and able to enjoy life to the fullest. Carrying all that added weight can make for a very unhappy and grouchy dog. Although your dog can not tell you, if overweight, he (or she) will most likely experience the following:

  • uncomfortableness
  • difficulty exercising
  • heat becomes problematic
  • more encounters with the vet
  • increased strain on it's heart and circulation
  • lower defenses

Testing Your Dog's Fat Level

It is not difficult to test your overweight dog's fat level. Make sure your dog is standing, put the palms of your hands over the dogs rib cage on the sides, (not on the stomach underneath). Run your fingers lightly along the sides of the dog and you should be able to feel a bone. If you cannot feel anything, ask someone else for a second opinion and study your dog. It can be difficult to admit to oneself if your dog is getting heavier.

Starting a Diet Plan

Take your dog to your veterinarian if suspecting your puppy or dog is gaining weight. Weigh your dog several times a year rather than waiting for annual vet visit results. It is pretty obvious that for a dog that has a weight problem the amount of food being consumed must be reduced.

Although not very complicated, it can actually be quite a difficult thing to handle if your emotions get in the way. Dieting is actually something more difficult for you than for your dog. You need to be your dog's willpower. In the end, your dog will only eat what you give him.

Rules to Follow With Your Overweight Dog's Diet:

  • Make sure your family is in agreement to help with dog's diet.
  • Don't allow your dog to eat with other pets when dieting.
  • Divide "allowed portions" into 2 portions per day.
  • Remain steady with a diet program and don't allow cheating.
  • Cut back 50% on treat giving - break them in half.
  • Feed a premium dog food - poor quality dog food leaves a dog hungry.
  • Is your dog a beggar at the table? Place him in another room during dinner.
  • Substitute normal treats with apples or carrots.
  • Exercise daily - start taking your dog for daily walks.
  • Weigh your dog monthly if not weekly.

Keep in mind... The amount of weight a dog should lose varies between smaller and bigger dogs. Diets may last up to around 3 months. Your local veternarian should be contacted to decide the kinds of diet and length of time with which your overweight dog needs to remain on a diet.

Good luck with your overweight dog's diet! Long live your loveable pooch!


Please Note:  Always consult your dog's veterinarian before making any dog health care decisions. Your veternarian will be able to help you decide the best course of action when it comes to caring for your dog.

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