Dog Weight: Is It a Problem for Your Dog?

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    Sep 20, 2013
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Dog Weight: Is It a Problem for Your Dog? Photo by Raquel Cervera

Weight has always been associated in one way or another to health. Excessive weight can produce health conditions just as lack of the adequate weight can have serious consequences. This is true in all animals, so keeping this in mind not only for yourself, but also for your dog is a very important issue.

Obesity in human beings has reached unthinkable proportions, thus facilitating the industry dedicated to weight loss programs to make millions and millions of dollars. Does the same preoccupation manifest in the animal world? I have not been aware of it, even if it can have the same unwanted results in our pets as in humans.

Animals in general, especially house pets who do not have to hunt for their food and have it available on a daily basis, love to eat. They love it even if they are full. Just feed them first and then start cooking for yourself as an example. I bet your dog will be sitting near you in the kitchen just waiting to see if you will give it anything additional. Sit at the dinner table and watch if it is not near or even at your side or any other member of the family’s just to beg for a scrap.

Food in the form of treats is also used when training dogs. It just constitutes the best positive reinforcement there is for them. It is not only a basic need, but a tremendous pleasure, and dogs are not usually as picky as some people are when eating .I just mentioned the food as a basic need for survival. It simply is, just as water. When we have dogs, considering to also please them with what they eat is a sign of love, but beware, because this love manifestation can harm our beloved pets.

Being attentive to keeping the optimum weight in our dogs is of the utmost importance, but what is the optimum weight for your dog in particular? That depends not only on the breed, but also on the dog’s height or size. Even within the same breed there are important variations to consider, so there is no specific rule that applies to all dogs in that category.

One very noticeable thing is that dog owners are usually not typically aware of the fact that their dogs are overweight. Statistics show that approximately 25 to 40% of dogs are overweight and these dog owners have not the slightest idea of that fact. They don’t even know how to tell if there is a weight problem with their dog.

Overweight will always have serious consequences in the dog’s health. It makes the bones have to deal with a lot more pressure so the joints suffer and can develop conditions such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. The muscles are also victims because they have to struggle more in order to help move the excess weight. Remember the heart is a muscle, so it has to work much harder. This problem may even result in cardiovascular diseases that no one wants to face. Because of this, more accidents occur and there is more difficulty also if the dog needs to undergo surgery or suffer from any other illness.

We all know about the importance of exercising our dogs. In the case in question, having an overweight dog will make it harder for us to exercise it, even if we must, because we have to take extra precautionary measures in order not to hurt instead of benefit.

When taking dog weight into consideration, overweight seems to be the focus of primary attention, but underweight is just as undesirable and dangerous. There are causes for any dog being underweight, of course, and these need to be observed carefully too.

The first thing that comes to mind when you observe a dog losing weight is the possibility of it suffering from parasites. Thank God, these, if identified, can be easily taken care of.

The food being given to the dog may not contain the necessary nutritional value and may have to be changed for a premium and more adequate one.

Depending on the age of the dog, the number of feedings, right? Well, maybe not. In the case in consideration, it may be necessary to think there is a need for more food given to the dog than the one accustomed up to now, There are no exact rules as to how much food and when. It all depends on individual cases.

Underweight dogs may also be suffering from other diseases like diabetes or may have problems with their teeth, so feeding is not as easy for them.

As a general rule, it is said that the way for a dog owner to know if her dog is in the proper weight is to touch its sides and see if she can feel the dog’s ribs without looking. If she can, then there is no problem .If the ribs are protruding, that is an immediate red flag indicating underweight. If, on the other hand, she can’t see or feel them, overweight is the answer. Dogs should all have a waistline and it is essential dog owners keep track of it.

If your dog is either overweight or underweight, there are many products in the food department that can help the animal control its weight. It is advisable to have the veterinarian recommend what she believes would be the best choice for your dog and how to administer that food in order to produce the best results. She should also advise you as to what kind and amount of exercise to give your dog depending on its health conditions, so that should always be the first step to take in order to keep your dog in its best shape possible.

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The author is running a site and a blog related to dog training,grooming and dog care. For more information about dog training and dog care, pay them a visit.

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