Did you know that canine obesity is one of the most common health problems in dogs? Studies show that over 50 percent of dogs are obese! Man’s Best Friend may look cute with that extra weight, but those additional pounds can be very dangerous for your canine pal. Below, your local Burnsville vet discusses canine obesity.
Risks of Obesity
There are many health risks associated with canine obesity. Obese pooches have a much higher chance of developing several serious health conditions, such as heart and liver problems, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritic problems. Obesity has also been linked to increased cancer risk in dogs. It can even shorten Fido’s lifespan!
Your dog’s diet is probably the biggest influence on his weight, though breed, age, and lifestyle also play important roles. Improper serving sizes are often a contributing factor to canine obesity. It’s very easy to overfeed Fido simply by giving him too much kibble. The portion sizes listed on pet food labels are only suggestions, and may be too much or too little for some dogs. Ask your vet to recommend portion sizes, and measure your pup’s food to be sure he’s getting the correct amount. Another thing to be mindful of is table scraps. We know it’s hard to resist those big, sad, puppy dog eyes, but don’t overindulge your furry pal with fatty treats.
Exercise is another critical area of your dog’s overall health and well-being. Keep Fido active by giving him daily walks and playtime. If you aren’t up to vigorous walks or hikes, you can still exercise your canine buddy without exhausting yourself. Try playing games like fetch or Tug-O-War, or having your pooch chase a laser pointer.
What To Do If Your Dog Is Obese
While usually an improper diet and a lack of exercise are the reasons for a canine to become obese, sometimes genetics or medical conditions can be to blame. If you think your pooch is getting the right amount of food and exercise, but he still seems chunky, have your vet examine him. A veterinarian will be able to determine if there is a medical reason behind your dog’s weight, and recommend an appropriate diet/exercise plan. Never put a dog on a crash diet, as this can affect Fido’s metabolism, which can be very dangerous.
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