Dog Obesity, The Devastating Effects
It is common knowledge that dog obesity is harmful to a dog’s health, however, we are not always aware of the reasons why.
Here is a list of ailments, diseases and health conditions which are brought on when a dog is overweight.
1 Type 2 Diabetes
2 Lowered Immune System
3 Loss of mobility
4 Heat Intolerance
5 Skin Conditions
6 Organ Failure
8 Poor recovery from Surgery
9 Knee Problems
12 Collapsed Trachea
13 High Blood Pressure
Some of these conditions are life-threatening, most are expensive to treat, however, all are avoidable.
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Overweight?
It’s not always easy to weigh a dog but your vet will always be happy to pop your dog on to the scales for a quick weight check. Vets have charts for most breeds and will be able to tell you if your dog is under or overweight.
Groomers are also great at noticing changes in weight that owners can easily overlook.
A simple examination should be done monthly to check for obesity.
Stand the dog in front of you and feel around the ribs and midsection. The ribs and spine should be easy to feel and the waist should have a slight hourglass appearance.
When viewed from above a distinct waistline should be evident with an abdominal tuck.
It is important to perform this check to see if your dog is underweight too. If the ribs and spine are visible the dog is underweight.
Tips To Reduce Dog Obesity
It’s so easy to spoil our dogs with treats, leftovers or snacks that they don’t need. A food orientated dog will do anything to get hold of a tasty snack including begging at the table and raiding the rubbish bin.
When it comes to training, a food orientated dog will literally jump through hoops for you. However, when you add up all the treats the calorific value is extremely high.
Using the following tips the dog will be back to a normal weight in no time.
- Cut treats in half, the dog won’t notice and you are halving the calories.
- Offer green beans or carrot sticks instead of treats.
- Take an extra walk around the block every day.
- Introduce more play into the dogs routine.
- Take a ball on walks and encourage the dog to fetch and retrieve.
- Check the packaging on your dog’s regular food to make sure you are not overfeeding.
- Make sure that all members of the family are familiar with the dangers of dog obesity.
- Cut down on carbohydrates and increase protein.
- Take a few pieces of kibble from the portion of food and offer instead of treats.
- Change to the ‘lighter’ version of the regular food, if it is available.
I hope you found the information useful. Thank you for reading.
When I first picked up my puppy, the recommendation was to feed them the ‘sport’ variety of the preferred food brand. He was always a solid dog and eventually the vet recommended that since he was an adult, that we change varieties. Often we get hooked on buying one kind of food regularly, but the vet visit reminded me that we need to take a step back and evaluate what kind of food we are feeding so that they stay a healthy weight. Thank you for this article.
Thank you. I agree its a good idea to have a rethink now and again.
It always worry me when people qualify an overweight dog as « cute »! Having dachshunds specifically, it’s super dangerous for them as it’s one of the main cause of IVDD – which can end in back leg’s paralysis! (Which can also happen on any dog- but mostly thoses with longer backs/shorter legs)
Its a constant worry for me having a dachshund who LOVES his food! Last week Darcy had a slight limp and I panicked completely. Fingers crossed he seems fine again now.
I SO had that too! My more muscular female (but like, you touch her ribs- no meat on her.) and the vet we got wasn’t our usual one and he was garbage. Guess she had stuck it on the couch and jumped so i dislodged or something.. plus inflammatory. She’s totally fine now! But I showed the xray to my usual vet and she said she think she may have a bit of arthritis but well.. we’ll all have at some point 🤷🏽♀️
I’m scared to death of him getting IVDD. He was a rescue on death row ( because if hes scared, he bites) so we had to make a quick decision about adopting him. So..we don’t know if he had any of the usual checks as a pup etc. And….he’s a little pocket rocket. literally thinks he can fly! How do you stop them from loving life? but on the other hand , like you say it could result in paralysis.