Giving your dog a treat every day may seem harmless, until it becomes a potential threat to their health. Weight can be managed by limiting the treats you provide your dog, and even exercising more often. Regular exercise is important when it comes to the overall health and wellness of your beloved pet. Obesity in dogs can lead to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and increases the risk of developing other health issues. If not treated, your dog’s overall health can be put at risk. Being a few pounds overweight is not considered obesity, however it is important that you do not overfeed your pet.
Even if your dog is overweight, there are still ways to help prevent health threats and ensure a healthy, happy life for your pet. Obesity is luckily an experience you can definitely reverse and help alleviate for your dog. If anything, try to focus on preventing these possible risks that come with overweight pets.
Effects of Dog Obesity
Here are some potentially harmful effects of obesity in dogs.
Obesity can cause stress to your dog’s joints. Dogs are built with a certain weight-bearing amount for their bodies, and anything excessively over that limit can cause damage. Increased inflammation can be caused by extra fatty tissue which can ultimately lead to problems such as arthritis. Extra weight means extra pressure on your dog’s joints. The cartilage then begins to deteriorate, causing arthritis.
Overweight dogs have been found to have higher cases of back issues, oftentimes leading to disc surgery and other medical expenses. Being overweight can strain the function of the spine for dogs and cause a potentially threatening situation. Especially breeds such as Dachshunds, who have a longer torso, are at higher risk of back problems through being overweight.
The more overweight your dog is, the more strain it puts on the function of their heart. The heart must work that much harder to keep your dog going. Weight gain may lead to heart disease and high blood pressure for your dog and could be fatal if ignored. Plus, obesity often leads to clogged arteries in dogs causing heart disease and other complications. Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog can help reduce the risk of heart problems.
Obesity in dogs can lead to breathing problems. High blood pressure and heart disease can increase your dog’s risk of additional issues of the lungs. Collapsing trachea and laryngeal paralysis can happen when your dog is untreated for breathing conditions due to obesity. Being overweight can inhibit your dog’s health by making its functioning systems work harder than they need to. This causes stress and leads to ultimately more overall health issues.
Tumors can be linked to obesity in dogs. Obesity is associated with increased risk for tumors of the mammary, bladder, and mast cell type. Whereas tumors are not fatal, they do have the potential to be if left untreated. This can lead to high veterinarian costs, and more potential health problems.
Dogs who experience obesity are at an increased risk for skin problems to occur. This is because they are unable to properly clean themselves due to excess fat in unnecessary areas of the body. Without being able to adequately reach certain areas, skin problems may arise. Unhealthy coats are a result of this issue as well.
Anterior cruciate ligament is a vital ligament within the knee. Dogs who are overweight can pose a threat to tearing their ACL. A torn ACL can only be repaired with surgery making your dog’s weight a beneficial factor to always maintain. Too much weight can cause this ligament to tear and can be an uncomfortable, and expensive problem to deal with.
Quantity and Quality of Life
The overall quantity and quality of life for your dog is threatened when overweight. Movement is limited, energy is decreased, and additional problems may occur. Plus, obesity can be monitored and controlled with a few simple changes. Your dog can live a longer, healthier lifestyle when obesity is combatted. Overweight dogs are not beyond repair. With a few conscious changes, your dog can live a longer, healthier, and happier lifestyle. Wanting what’s best for your pet means ensuring they are in good health.
How to Help Your Dog with Obesity
Here are a few things that could help your dog with their obesity.
Call Your Veterinarian
You can begin by seeing your veterinarian. Ask what measures need to be taken to help combat obesity.
Change Their Food and Limit Treats
Then, try switching to healthier food options for your dog. This can be by limiting treats and making informed decisions on whether to give them as much human food. Food is an important factor when it comes to obesity in dogs and can be easily overlooked.
Create an Exercise Schedule
Next, get on a regular exercise schedule with your dog so that they can start to walk away the extra pounds. Playing fetch can help strengthen the muscles in their abdomen and help shed a few pounds off. Walking, or hiking with your dog can help reduce obesity and keep them on the path to health. Plus, dog parks are a great way to let your dog roam free and get tons of exercise. If you don’t have time to exercise your dog, consider paying a service to help them get moving.
Obesity is often overlooked but is not something your dog has to live with forever. Even taking them to the local pet store is a great way to get them out and about and moving. Try new toys with them to get them excited to play again. If your dog is lethargic, perhaps short and frequent walks can help with their energy levels.
Call Country Club Animal Hospital
We love our pets and would do anything to make them happy. This doesn’t always have to come from those delicious food scraps, or multiple treats in a day. You can help lead a healthier life for your dog by simply playing more, going outside, taking them to the dog park, and encouraging them to live their best lives ever. To talk with your Country Club Animal Hospital vet about dog obesity call (305) 663-3300 or book an appointment online!