Obesity is an accumulation of excess fat in the body due to excessive intake of an energy (calorie). In recent years, there has been increasing numbers of obese dogs and cats globally especially in the UK. Dog obesity is something professional veterinary and even owners are concerned about. Obesity is one of the commonest yet preventable problems affecting our pets today, as more of these cases keeps occurring annually. One of the most common nutritional disorder seen in dogs is canine obesity. Obesity is more common in dogs that are less active and overfed. Exercising your dog regularly helps discharge the excess energy in his body.
How can you tell if your dog is overweight?
Obese dogs is generally prone to diseases and will have less fun than lean, healthy pet. Many pet owners are surprised to know that their pet is overweight. However, the easiest way to know if your dog is obese is by feeling the dog’s ribs, spine or waistline. The dog’s ribs is expected to be clearly felt upon touching the skin. Other ways to tell if your pet is overweight include:
• Abdominal sagging
• A bigger, rounder face
• Excessive panting
• Dog appearing tired after short distance walks, amongst other
Some of these obese dogs also requires assistance getting in and out of vehicles and going up and down the staircase.
Problems Associated with Obesity in Dogs
Obese pets are vulnerable to several health issues such as diabetes; cancers; kidney diseases; high blood pressure, heart diseases caused by excess cholesterol; and arthritis which hinders mobility. These health issues make it a bit difficult for your pet to lose weight and impair exercise.
How to prevent dog obesity
There are several ways to prevent dog obesity. As soon as you discover your dog is overweight, the first thing to do is to change his feeding habits. Creating a much better feeding plan by giving him diets that are rich in both protein and fibre but low in fat. Avoid feeding your dogs late at night as they won’t burn more calories when inactive. Another major way to prevent obesity in dogs is to increase exercise. Take your dogs on a long distance walk at least four times in a week or daily if possible.
When your dog starts losing weight, you will discover that he’s happier and full of energy to play games and go for longer walk. Also, it is highly recommended to book an appointment with your vet for advice.