Obesity in dogs is a serious problem for their health and overall quality of life. Just like in humans, there is a difference between being overweight and being obese. Overweight is weighing 10-20% above the ideal body weight for the breed and obese is 20% or more above weight for the breed. It is preventable and reversible with proper diet and exercise. As October 14th is National Pet Obesity Day, let’s look at signs your dog is overweight and the health risks that are associated with it.
Recognizing Overweight and Obese Dogs:
- Take a look at your dog’s ribs. You should be able to feel them without excess fat on them. A heavy fat layer above the ribs is a warning sign.
- When looking at your pup from above, he should have an obvious waistline.
- Consult your veterinary health professional should you have doubts about your dog’s healthy weight
It’s important to recognize and curtail overweight tendencies before it leads to obesity in dogs. Excess fat negatively impacts a dog’s health and longevity and increases their risk for many diseases. They can be prone to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. The additional weight also leads to osteoarthritis and faster degeneration of their joints. In addition, many dogs may develop urinary bladder stones.
At times, excess weight on a dog may be a symptom of another problem. Diseases like hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid gland or Cushing’s disease – overactive adrenal glands can lead to obesity. This is why it is important to stay on top of changes in your dog’s weight with your vet and monitor their diet and exercise levels.
A happy dog is a healthy dog. Keep your dog at a healthy weight and watch for any potential issues that may lean towards obesity in your dog. A tubby puppy may not fit through the PlexiDor Dog Door anymore and you’d need to go up a size! Not to mention it’s not good for their health. Wishing you and your pooches a happy and healthy October!