After posting about dog exercise and determining if your dog is at a healthy weight these last two weeks, we thought we would cap off our January run of “dog health” blogs with a blog about the causes of obesity in dogs (a common issue that plagues many pets).
There are three things that cause obesity in dogs:
- Overfeeding: You guessed it, those table scraps and frequent treats, while so fun to give, have unwanted consequences. Though your pup may look at you with pleading eyes, extra food, coupled with lack of exercise, can lead to obesity and health complications.
- Genetic Predisposition: Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to weight gain. Read up on the breed of your dog so you can understand more fully what it requires to maintain a healthy body weight.
- Hormonal Disorders: Thyroid or pituitary gland dysfunction can impact the hormonal balances of a dog and can contribute to the growth of obesity. Another cause of hormonal imbalance is neutering and spaying , which can result in reduced energy and changes in metabolism.
No matter the cause, the result is something that needs to be addressed. Obesity can cause a variety of health problems including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory issues, and joint/skeletal problems. So here are some tips to get your pup on track to health:
- Create a feeding plan. If you leave dry food out in a large bowl for your pouch to eat from at any time, try measuring out portions and giving it three or more meals at certain times instead.
- Try a lower-calorie dog food.
- Eliminate all dinner table treats. Try offering the occasional dog treat instead. Yes, you might have to endure some sad eyes and begging, but you will both be better off in the long run!
- Get some exercise!
As always, consult your trusted veterinarian before making any big changes to your pet’s lifestyle and diet or if you have concerns about its health or weight. Hopefully, these tips will help you to provide a healthy 2014 to your pet!