Being overweight and obesity in dogs is one of the most common diseases, as well as in humans. Obesity in dogs is an excessive accumulation of fat in the body, which is the cause of a large number of diseases that can lead to serious health complications.
Excessive weight gain affects the quality of life, as well as its mobility and agility, in addition to generating different pathologies, reducing the dog’s life expectancy.
Obesity in Dogs can be Prevented.
It’s as simple as giving your dog the proper diet and always taking him to a qualified veterinarian for checkups. The expert will guide you on what type of food, how often, and how much your pet should have so they get the proper nutrients without overdoing it.
Obesity in Dogs: How to Act?
Having obese dogs in the home may seem common to many adopters, mainly when they haven’t fully assimilated that the dog is overweight.
However, if the adopter knows that his animal has this problem, it is recommended to take into account the following instructions:
Make Changes to your Diet
A dog must be fed with specific products that help him reduce his weight. You can find various brands that guarantee they are exclusive to fulfill the abovementioned task. Still, an evaluation must be carried out by a veterinary nutritionist first.
In this way, the doctor will be able to determine the right food and the necessary quantity you must consume, always following the parameters of your breed, weight, and age parameters.
In this sense, it is always essential to go to the expert to prevent your dog from being malnourished. Natural food, without additives and cereals, is guaranteed to avoid overweight and obesity in dogs.
Our recommendation, in addition to natural foods, mainly because you always have veterinary nutritionists, is Doggy Diet.
Increase walking and physical activity time
Walking is one of the healthiest activities dogs can do without any problem. With enough physical activity, your weight will decrease if you are overweight. And it’s ideal for you to stay at your ideal weight.
For all this, it is essential to have enough time to walk your dog and, at the same time, spend time together. And remember to play: daily games are essential for your dog. Not only does it have fun, but it also burns energy and calories.
Note: During these outings, it is necessary that you, as the adopter, observe how your furry best friend behaves, for example, how he breathes and if he begins to tire more frequently.
When dogs are in the obesity stage, one of the most common illnesses is respiratory. With these signs, you can detect them before it’s too late. In the same way, you must always have fresh water on you to be able to hydrate it properly.
How to Prevent Obesity in Dogs?
Many factors can be associated with rapid weight gain in a dog. The main ones are lack of exercise and when adopters provide food that is not adequate.
Indeed, it is expected that there often needs to be clarity between the appropriate food and the quantities to be provided, exceptionally when frequent monitoring with a specialist is not maintained.
Following the above, we will detail the leading causes so that the adopter can recognize the factors surrounding the obesity that his dog manifests.
Having an inappropriate diet
As in humans, an uncontrolled excess of calories and a noticeable imbalance of nutrients can lead to rapid and uncontrollable weight gain. Canine nutrition is based on a diet of nutrients and vitamins that can help the dog grow properly.
However, when a poor quality feed or feed is provided that is made up of high fat, low nutrient ingredients, the problem may be primarily with the adopter. Having a dog at home requires responsibility. Therefore, a constant visit to the veterinarian will help you choose quality dog food.
It should also be noted that prices or what is also called dog treats or snacks can be a good point for weight gain. Snacks should be given with caution.
You Rarely Exercise.
The sedentary lifestyle of domestic dogs can cause significant fat accumulation. As an adopter, always remember that all dogs need exercise.
Depending on his breed and other factors, he may need fewer amounts than others, but consistent play doses, walks, and walking routines will always help.
Some diseases can affect the proper digestion of food consumed by a dog. Therefore, if you have started noticing that your dog is gaining weight rapidly without any apparent cause, the most responsible thing to do is to consult a specialist.
How to Help a Dog Lose Weight?
To help an overweight dog, you must follow a series of steps. Starting from the beginning will make it easier for you to help your pet, and the process will not be a problem for the dog:
Check if you are overweight.
The first thing to do is to find out if the dog is obese or has a weight that is unsuitable for his age or breed. For this, it is necessary to inspect the muscle mass.
All dog breeds are different, and bodies cannot be associated with each other. Analyzing the dog’s appearance beforehand and comparing it with three other dogs of the same breed will determine precisely whether the dog is obese. Thus it will be possible to start making the corresponding changes in its diet.
For this, it is recommended:
- Observe above your dog and detail if he has a curvature in front of his legs.
- Detail the sides to check for unusual bulk between the abdomen and chest.
- If the dog has a broad and flattened back, his abdomen has started to hang down, and he has little mobility, this indicates that he has started to suffer from obesity.
Another effective way to determine if the dog is obese is to do the well-known rib test. This involves touching the edges of the dog’s belly. When a dog is of adequate weight, the ribs cannot be seen, but they can be felt when touched. If you don’t feel anything when you touch it, the dog suffers from obesity.
Make a meal plan
Most veterinarians are not expert nutritionists. You must always go to an expert canine nutritionist to evaluate your dog. A non-expert veterinarian can give you dry foods or low-fat canned foods on their shelf, but they will need to make an individualized plan for you.
Execute the meal plan
After the visit to the expert veterinary nutritionist, it’s time to start the plan. This plan will be based on a specific diet, in which each of the advice and recommendations imposed by the specialist must be strictly followed.
The diet can be straightforward. In many cases, it is based on reducing the amount of food you have eaten before, in addition to the fact that there can also be combinations with fiber that allow the animal’s hunger to be satisfied in smaller quantities.
Diseases Caused by Obesity in Dogs
Dogs are prone to many diseases, just like humans. But, about obesity, specific pathologies can seriously endanger the life of your dog, among which the following stand out:
Life expectancy is decreasing.
Although it is not a disease, it is a critical point to emphasize since it has a close relationship with the dog’s life or the years he can live while suffering from obesity.
Some studies show that reducing food rations can increase longevity in overweight dogs. Dogs at their ideal weight can easily live to be over 13 years old, while obese ones are stipulated to live for up to 11 years. Overweight and obesity reduce your dog’s life expectancy by up to 2 years.
Obesity can generate osteoarticular pathology in a large number of dogs. As stated above, obese dogs are prone to restricted movement. This is associated with the joints and often begins when the dog is just a puppy. Dogs of much larger breeds can also have orthopedic issues such as hip dysplasia.
This condition is one of the main problems in obese dogs and is often irreversible. Although different problems can begin to appear in pets’ joints with age, obesity can be the leading cause of problems.
We talk in the hip, knees, shoulders, or elbows, resulting in a ligament problems, such as tears and fractures. This causes the dog to begin to have less mobility, which means the amount of exercise it can perform will be significantly reduced.
Because of this, you won’t be able to burn the calories you consume between meals. Instead, you start accumulating them in your body, causing excess fat.
Respiratory disorders and exercise intolerance
When a dog suffers from obesity, it causes problems to exercise since it will be more frequent that he begins to get tired, and the lack of air will be present in his lungs.
Dogs show signs of obesity when walking up and down stairs can seem exhausting, so their heart rate starts to increase, as does their blood pressure, which can lead to a feeling of suffocation.
This is one of the most dangerous curls an obese dog can exhibit, as it will not allow him to burn calories properly as he gets exhausted when he does little movement.
Your Defenses are Down
When obesity becomes a big problem, the principal organs of the dog are significantly affected. This means that the body will be much more vulnerable, so much so that the immune system will not have the ability to function correctly because it will be weakened and out of balance.
This leads to a decrease in defenses, and new diseases can make their way to the animal.
Diabetes mellitus, the common obesity disease in dogs
Polyphagia is common in dogs with Diabetes; therefore, they will begin to gain weight. However, it can happen the other way around, where obesity is the main factor leading to increased glucose, and therefore a significant secretion of insulin will be formed.
When the body becomes insulin resistant, chronic inflammation occurs related to adiposity. This means it is one of the most excessive fat accumulations the body can experience.
When the dog suffers from obesity, it can be a doorway for a disease to manifest. Acute pancreatitis, and there are alterations in metabolism.
It can, therefore, generate diabetes mellitus, which can be fatal for the dog.
FAQs :Obesity in Dogs
What Causes Obesity in Dogs?
Obesity problems in dogs are multifactorial. They are due to many causes, both genetic and environmental. They cause an energy imbalance: the animal consumes more calories than it expends. That is, it has an excess of energy that accumulates in the form of fat.
Can Obesity Cause Cancer in Dogs?
A scientific review has investigated the relationship between obesity and cancer in dogs. It points out that the disease should avoid or obese dogs should treat to reduce the risk of developing cancer.