Dog obesity has become a huge problem worldwide. In the United States, according to The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than half of the dogs are overweight or obese which puts them at risk for multiple diseases. As a pet parent, seeing our dog putting on some weight can be really scary. However, it could be even scarier to see our beloved furbaby afflicted by weight-related health problems.
We have to be vigilant about our dog’s weight gain
We might think that giving more food is showing our dog that we love them, but actually, this isn’t the right way to go. Just like humans, obesity can have disastrous repercussions on our dog’s health. But how to resist those big and loving eyes asking for another piece of dog treat or another scoop of dog food? Still, for the sake of our dog’s health, we must learn to say “no”.
Having our veterinarian telling us that our dog is overweight or obese is something that we certainly don’t want to hear. As little as five pounds in large dogs can put them at risk and jeopardize their health. It can even go as far as shorten our beloved furbaby lifespan.
That’s why we have to be vigilant when it comes to our dog’s weight. Overeating isn’t necessarily the reason our dog is gaining weight. Many medical conditions, like adrenal and thyroid diseases, spaying/neutering or old age, can cause our dog to put on some weight. A visit to the veterinarian will determine the real cause of the weight gain.
How to tell if your dog is overweight
If you think your dog is showing signs of weight gain, there are some points you can verify. In this video, you’ll learn the body condition score, and it will show you how to look closely and carefully feel your dog’s body with your hands to determine if they are overweight. It’s very well explained, and it looks pretty easy to do.
What are the effects of dog obesity and which breeds are the most at risk
Whatever the reason for the weight gain, being overweight or obese can have terrible effects on your dog’s health. Diabetes, arthritis, heart and respiratory problems, pancreatitis, increased risk of cancers, ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and soft tissue ruptures are only a few of the medical conditions your dog can develop due to excess weight.
Furthermore, there are some dog breeds that are predisposed to weight gain. Here is a list of those dog breeds:
- Cocker Spaniels
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Basset Hounds
If your dog belongs to one of those breeds, you should be extra careful to not only count the calories but also to weigh your pup regularly. By doing so, you’ll closely monitor his weight to make sure it doesn’t fluctuate too much. Talk with your veterinarian to learn more about your dog’s ideal weight.
Overweight dogs, the infographic
The family-owned pet food company TruDog has created a very interesting infographic about overweight dogs. Full of fascinating facts, it also talks about what are the illnesses overweight dogs can be at risk for, and it shows us 6 ways we can help them.
|An infographic by the team at TruDog|
How to help your dog lose the extra pounds
As you can see in the infographic, there are many ways of helping your precious pup lose weight. Just like in humans, shedding the extra pounds basically relies on a weight-loss program and enough exercise. What you choose to feed your furbaby is essential for their health.
I found a great article on WikiHow that thoroughly explains how to help them lose weight. It is really well made and it explains step-by-step what to do to successfully make your furry friends lose weight. It’s also very well illustrated for a better understanding of the explanations. Click here to read it.
According to a study at Ohio State University, weight-loss programs are extremely successful as long as you, the parents, stuck with them. Since you will be the one feeding your dog, the success of their weight loss will be in your hands. If you follow the vet’s recommendations, you should see results pretty quickly. In fact, your dog counts on you to make the healthy choices for them.
Over to you
What do you think of the infographic and the video? Did you read the article on WikiHow? Did you know that obesity was such a big problem amongst dogs? Please, share your thoughts in the comment box below!