Obesity in dogs has become the fastest growing health issue in dogs, if not taken proper measures then it can affect the health of your furry companion adversely and it may shorten the lifespan of your dog. The root of this issue is over-feeding as if you feed him more calories than a body needs then the body will store the surplus calories as fats and these fats are responsible for causing harm to your dog’s health.

SYMPTOM:

  1. Excessive body fat
  2. Lack of mobility
  3. No visible waistline
  4. Lethargy
  5. Distended abdomen
  6. Difficulty in breathing
  7. Reluctant to exercise
  8. Always hungry
  9. Heat intolerance
  10. High blood pressure

CAUSES:

There are various causes of obesity but the most common reason behind this issue is the imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned. Due to aging dogs tend to become inactive and reluctant to exercise due to which the calories he consumed get stored as fats instead of getting burned. Unhealthy eating habits or high-calorie food consumption can lead to obesity.

There are some other factors as well that contribute to obesity:

  • Physiology:

Age factor and genetic predisposition are also responsible for obesity as senior dogs tend to burn less number of calories. Some breeds are genetically predisposed to the problem of obesity.

  • Surgery:

Neutering or spaying can also lead to increase in hunger in dogs

  • Medications:

Phenobarbital can also result in overeating and Glucocorticoids can also lead to obesity in dogs

  • Diseases:

Hypothyroidism can also lead to weight gain and Insulinoma can also be a possible reason behind obesity

RISKS:

An excessive amount of fats can have a negative impact on your furry companion’s health. The lifespan of a dog gets shorten if he is heavily weighted. There are various health risks if a dog is overweight

  • Hypertension
  • Urinary bladder stones
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

So, in order to avoid these severe health complications, the dog owner needs to take care of his furry companion’s weight.

TREATMENT:

Let’s consider the possible ways in order to treat this issue

  • Increase the amount of physical activity as it will promote weight loss
  • Feed your dog only that amount of calories which is required for proper functioning of his body
  • The dog owner must avoid free feeding
  • Measure the weight of your dog on regular basis
  • The dog owner must not feed him table scraps
  • Feed him food with low calories
  • You can also use various medication in order to make your dog lose weight

RECOVERY:

Once you follow up the protocol for managing weight then it would be easier for your dog to lose weight. The dog owner needs to monitor the weight of his dog. Little change in diet and exercise will help the dog to get an ideal weight. Obesity is the root of many severe health complications so in order make your four-legged friend healthy, you need to keep a check on his diet and exercise.

All weight loss programs are effective if you follow it up permanently. So, don’t lose hope and make consistent efforts to make your four-legged friend healthy.