OBESITY IN DOGS

Fat Dog

 

As dog owners it is our responsibility to make sure that we feed our dogs the right amount of food, and the correct sort of food for the dog’s lifestyle. Dogs can easily become overweight or obese with the incorrect amount of food and with a lack of exercise. However it is quite common that we over-feed our dogs… “killing them with kindness” as some people may say.

Obesity is a nutritional disease which is defined as “an excess of body fat”. Dogs that are obese (dangerously overweight) can suffer from serious health issues and therefore have a reduced lifespan.

 

There are many areas in the body that are affected by an excess of body fat such as:

  • Bones
  • Joints
  • Digestive Organs
  • Respiratory Organs

Obesity is common in all ages of dogs, but is more likely to be seen in middle-age and older dogs as they become less active with age. Neutered and dogs who remain indoors also tend to have a higher risk of gaining weight and becoming obese.

Skele DogThe most common health risk with obesity is arthritis. Having extra weight to carry puts a lot of pressure on the joints, which can then cause swelling, and the joints can rub together causing friction and pain. This then makes mobility harder, which in turn means walks become shorter as they may not be able to walk as far as they used to.

 Diabetes is another common health risk that dogs can suffer from with excess weight. Diabetes needs to be managed well and it is best to speak to your vet for advice on what to do.

Having excess weight puts a strain on the heart and lungs, causing your dog to have breathing and respiratory problems. This again makes mobility harder and exercise becomes shortened.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, what type of food they should be having, how to avoid any weight gain, or any other health issues, your vet will be able to help. They will also be able to carry out regular weight checks and advise you on how best to manage your dog’s lifestyle.  

 

 

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