When it comes to healthy body weight, us humans aren’t the only ones who need to be aware of it and strive for it – our dogs can also become overweight. Dog obesity isn’t something that is reserved for certain breeds only, or a certain age group, it can happen to any dog at any time in their life. It’s one of those things that can sneak up on you, and before you know it your dog is suddenly carrying those extra pounds. So why is dog obesity such an issue and what can you do about it? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Is Dog Obesity Such a Problem?
If you have noticed that your dog is less active than normal and carrying a fair amount of extra weight, then there is a chance they may be obese. Did you know that when a dog is obese it can cause a variety of issues, many of which can cause permanent damage? That extra weight can end up creating skeletal and muscular issues in your dog which makes it hard and painful for them to go about their daily activities.
Also, when a dog is obese they are at higher risk of developing urinary bladder stones, cancer, osteoarthritis, diabetes, increased blood pressure and heart disease, decreased liver function, heat intolerance, digestive problems, and can cause complications with anesthetic.Another big risk is that their life expectancy is shortened greatly thanks to their poor physical health.
That is a whole lot of health issues that can be avoided simply by maintaining a healthy body weight.
How Can You Help Them Lose Weight?
So what happens if your dog is already obese? What can you do about it? How can you as an owner help them to shed the pounds and reach that target healthy weight? Obviously the first place you’ll want to start is with a visit to your vet to determine what your dog currently weighs, what their ideal weight should be, and how many calories they should be consuming per day. This gives you a starting point. Now from there it’s up to you to make sure they are eating right and exercising regularly.
The process will be difficult at first, and you’ll need to be stern with things such as treats and table scraps, both of which need to be cut out completely. These won’t help your dog and they certainly don’t fit in with a healthy balanced diet.
Now as for the exercise, you’ll want to aim for 30 minutes of brisk exercise each and every day. It’s much the same as what people need to stay fit. This exercise can include daily walks or a jog, swimming, playing fetch with a ball, running around at the dog park, anything that gets them moving. Not only will this help to shed the pounds, it’s also a great bonding experience with your dog.
Get the Process Moving
If you suspect your dog may be obese, it’s best to get them checked out by your vet and then set up an action plan that will help them to shed the weight.