Have you noticed your dog becoming, well, a bit pudgy? Man’s Best Friend does have a habit of packing on the pounds. In fact, by some estimates, well over half of our canine buddies are overweight or obese! While Fido may look cute if he’s a bit chubby, being overweight or obese can bring some very serious health risks for your beloved pet. Read on as a Georgetown, IN vet discusses obesity in dogs.
Those extra pounds are very bad for your four-legged buddy’s health. Dogs that are overweight or obese have higher chances of developing many health problems, including heart disease, liver problems, diabetes, reproductive difficulty, skin trouble, and complications after surgery/anesthesia. Being overweight can also lead to or aggravate painful bone/joint conditions, such as arthritis. Those extra pounds can even shorten Fido’s life expectancy!
While sometimes age, breed, or medical conditions can cause dogs to gain weight, more often overfeeding, combined with a lack of exercise, is the culprit. You’ll want to feed your canine pal a nutritious, high-quality diet, but don’t overdo it with fatty treats. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including portion sizes.
We really can’t discuss canine obesity without at least touching on the topic of begging. Fido is very, very good at convincing us to hand over yummy snacks. We know, that sad puppy-dog stare can be very effective, but don’t fall for it! Begging is bad doggy manners, and is a major factor in canine obesity. If you just can’t resist your pet’s theatrics, offer the furball a carrot instead of a cheeseburger.
All dogs need some form of activity, though the exact type and amount of exercise Fido needs will depend on his age, breed, health, and weight. Most dogs require at least a daily walk, but some of our canine buddies need quite a bit more activity than that. Making sure your furry pal is getting enough exercise is very important! Check with your vet before starting Fido on a workout regimen, however, as vigorous exercise isn’t right for every pooch. If Fido is more active than you are, engage him with fun games like fetch, which will keep him moving but won’t tire you out.
Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health, or care? We can help! Please contact us, your Georgetown, IN animal hospital, anytime.