Just like humans, dogs can become obese and undergo some health risks associated with it. The best veterinarian in Ku ring gai vet like Gordon Vet explore these risks and share some useful tips for the improvement of your dog’s wellness.
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A 2005 study done by Sydney University stated that about 40% of Australian dogs carry too much weight. Though dogs gain weight due to medical reasons, most overweight animals just consume more calories than they spend.
Reasons of Obesity in Dogs
A survey conducted by Victorian vets in 2010 showed that in their opinion, in just 3% of obese dogs, there was a health concern that contributed to their excessive weight. The health concerns include hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. This means that the rest of the 97% of overweight or obese dogs were so due to how their parents looked after them, excess food, excess treats and not sufficient exercise.
It’s a wrong belief that neutering makes your dog overweight. But it may change his metabolism lowering his caloric need. Also neutering is done at about 6 months of age, when the dog’s growth rate levels out and his energy requirements reduce.
Health Risks Related to Obesity
Your dog’s excessive weight can put him at the risk of a number of health conditions that can make his life less happy.
Arthritis: If the dog’s joints have to carry excessive weight, they undergo more wear and tear. This can result in deterioration of cartilage and hurting arthritis.
Breathing Problems: It becomes difficult for your dog to breathe when a layer of fat surrounds his chest.
Diabetes and Heart Disease: If obese dogs are suffering from heart disease and diabetes it becomes more difficult for them to manage with medication because of obesity.
Even though your dog isn’t suffering from any of the above conditions, it has been proved that if his food intake is limited all through his life, he has higher chances to live longer.
Is Your Dog Fat?
At times, it’s difficult to observe your dog and get a complete idea of his body condition. Thick coats of some dogs make it difficult to see what’s beneath. Therefore, you will have to make use of your hands and eyes to find out if your dog is carrying excessive weight.
- Observe your dog from above and from a side. You should be able to see a clear waistline after his ribs. If you don’t see it, and if the body of your dog is essentially rectangular, he has extra weight.
- Move your hands over your dog’s chest to feel his ribs. If you find the ribs quite easily, it means that the dog is in good weight condition. If you don’t find them easily, he has put on weight.
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Dieting Your Dog
There are high chances that your dog has become obese because he is eating too much and not sufficiently exercising. In that case, it’s quite easy to help him lose excessive weight. Just give him less food and make him walk more. However, it’s easier said than done.
Here are some dieting tips for your dog:
- If your dog has too much of weight to lose, feed him a prescription diet food. This will lower his calorie intake while still giving him enough of other nutrition he needs.
- Stop giving him between-meal snacks or bedtime treats, unless it is something healthy, like small pieces of cooked pumpkin or steamed green beans.
- Your every family member should work to reduce your dog’s weight.
Obesity in your dog can be avoided with purposeful efforts. Take help of vet clinic near North Shore like Gordon Vet to achieve optimum health for your beloved furry friend.