Obesity and Your Dog

  • Added:
    Jan 03, 2014
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Obesity and Your Dog Photo by Raquel Cervera

We keep watching the tremendous problem obesity has come to be in the United States and one has to wonder when are we going to end this so both, our children and adult population can live a healthier and longer life. It is something to really worry about. But obesity does not only apply to us humans; our pets can also suffer from it if we are not paying the correct attention to this important subject. We will concentrate here in obesity in our dogs.

Scientists explain that “obesity is a nutritional disease which is defined by an excess of body fat.” It seems natural for everyone to know that anything in excess accumulates if it cannot be eliminated, but is it? If that were the case, obesity would not exist, simply because anything eaten would be eliminated naturally by the body. Well, we know that is not the case, not in humans and not in dogs.

Dog owners that are not very well documented on the subject do sometimes over nourish their dogs, and the consequences are only to be expected. They will get fat or even obese. If these dog owners do not give the adequate importance to exercising their dogs and just feed them and let them lay on the couch all day, they are simply contributing to the obesity of these animals with all the terrible consequences that carries.

We have to remember that the lifespan of dogs is not the same as ours and, if we love them and want to keep them with us for many years, the fact of letting them become obese will definitely result in reducing this, sometimes by a lot. Many think that a dog that is just a little fat, or moderately obese, will not suffer those consequences. Wrong!

When we think about a body, we have to think about systems. Correct? Well, if we do, and start considering, for example, the skeletal system, which includes the bones and joints, we have to accept that the excess weight will affect these directly. What about the respiratory system? Do obese humans breathe easily or are they more prone to suffer from respiratory problems of all kinds? The same happens with the organs that are responsible for the breathing in dogs. And, just to mention two more ones, the digestive system always suffers when it has to work in excess and the cardiovascular system is directly affected by obesity.

If you have rescued a dog and neutered it or if you have done the same with your female dog that has already given birth the correct number of times, be aware that your dog is among those more prone to gain weight.

Since puppies and young dogs are usually much more active than middle age or older dogs, that helps them with the weight problem, but when a dog enters middle or old age, you have to watch out for the obesity, because that level of activity has normally diminished considerably and that enemy may want to show its face in your dog’s life.

When facing a physical problem, the intelligent thing to do is to try to look for its cause. That is why exams are practiced for the medical equipment to reach a proper diagnosis. In the case we are talking about, there are a possible number of causes for obesity in dogs that have to be watched for. Always be aware of the following, besides the two causes mentioned before:

• The type of foods given to the dog. High caloric content should be avoided except if indicated by the veterinarian because of a particular reason.
• Treats given too frequently and for no reason at all.
• Possible problems with the thyroid. Hypothyroidism is another cause of obesity in dogs.
• Diabetes.
• Adrenal conditions.

It is not so complicated to help your dog keep a healthy body weight and avoid obesity at all costs. Of course, the best and definitely indicated fountain of information as to what to do is your veterinarian, who will recommend what she considers the best for your particular dog.

The clear first step will be to put your dog on a diet that is adequate for it. Low fat and fiber and protein rich ones are typically indicated. Protein stimulates the metabolism, and this contributes to more fat being burned, and also helps your dog feel full more easily, and fiber is well known for its effects on the intestinal metabolism.

You want to enjoy your dog as much as possible, so it will always be your responsibility to watch for possible signs of obesity in it that will not only make it feel uncomfortable and with lack of enthusiasm or energy, but limit its life and health in general.

Author's Profile

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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