Dealing with Obesity in Dogs
If you thought obesity only affects humans, you are damn wrong. It’s so unfortunate that man’s best friend is vulnerable to obesity. The condition is characterized by a sharp increase in body weight. Funny enough, most dog owners are not aware of this condition. They feel it’s okay for their dogs to be big. The good thing is that the disease can be prevented. You only need to use your eyes and hands to tell whether your dog is in good shape or not.
You can start by patting your dog gently. If you have to apply pressure to feel its ribs, that’s definitely a red flag. The other technique requires you to observe the dog while standing. If the dog is overweight, you will not spot the waistline. Just like in humans, obesity in dogs is caused by taking too much calories while burning very little. When your dog eats more than what its body requires, the food is stored as fats. It’s therefore recommended that you give your dog food in small portions. But this doesn’t mean that you should starve your canine.
Dangers Associated with Obesity
Scientific research has proved that an overweight dog can’t live for many years. This is because the excess weight puts it at risk of contracting diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and other terminal illnesses. Treating obesity in canine is a costly affair in terms of money and time.
You will make numerous visits to the vet and spend a lot of money on medicine. When a dog becomes obese, moving from one point to another is a problem. In fact, you can’t go with such a dog for a hike. There are high chances of contracting arthritis. This is because the bones are being forced to carry weight that’s too much for them. Below is a list of the symptoms that can guide you when examining your dog.
- Difficulty breathing
- Low mobility
- Poor grooming
- Distended abdomen
- Excess body fat
- Ribs not visible from a distance
Keeping Dog Weight in Check
The first step towards preventing obesity in dogs is reducing food intake. You should never allow your dog to eat until it can’t eat no more. You should only give it a portion that can sustain it. If your dog spends most of its time in a cage, you should allow it to roam freely within your home compound a few minutes everyday. For those who live in apartments, an occasional walk in the park such as on weekends can really help in losing some pounds.
The other alternative is to make your dog run on the treadmill for at least thirty minutes per day. Besides that, you can throw the dog into a pool of water and wait for it on the other end. If you live with other people in your home, you should let them know that you want the dog to shed off some weight. If your housemates are not aware, the plan may not work because they will overfeed your canine.