Fat Dogs: 5 Reasons Your Dog Could Become Overweight
Fat dogs may be more lovable because they win you over with their charm, however those extra pounds can hurt your dog’s back or might result in heart problems, make him lazy and even worse, your dog’s life could be shortened if he develops illnesses like arthritis or diabetes so you may want to help your dog keep his weight under control before your dog’s quality of life is at risk and you have unexpected long term medical expenses.
This news brief gives you reasons your dog may become overweight and ways you can help your dog keep from getting fat.
Fat Dogs: 5 Reasons Your Dog Gains Weight
- Calories – You may not be surprised that 1 out of 3 dogs in the U.S. may be considered overweight or obese. Calorie intake is a major contributor for your dog’s weight management. Your small dog only needs 200-400 calories a day. Your larger dog that weighs 65-100 pounds may need 1,000-2,000 calories depending on their level of activity. The best way to monitor calories is to read the labels on your dog’s packaged food and talk to your vet about calories in homemade dog food and treats.
- Age – Your older dog may not be as active as he used to be so his calorie intake needs to be considered for your dog’s best weight management into his senior years. You
may want to check with your vet to make sure your dog is not in the “fat dogs” category which is 10-15% above the ideal body weight for your dog’s breed.
3. Exercise – Your dog thrives on the right amount of exercise for his specific breed, age and size. If you have a small dog, 20-30 minutes a day is the minimum to keep your dog healthy and trim. If you have a big dog over 50 pounds, you should plan on at least an hour of exercise every day. Be careful not to overdo your dog’s exercise in excessive heat or cold weather and always remember to give your dog plenty of clean, fresh water to keep your dog hydrated.
4. Genes – Some fat dogs may be prone to weight gain like beagles, basset hounds and labrador retrievers. A good strategy is to work with your vet and make sure your dog has a nutritionally balanced diet for his breed, size and age. Extra exercise may be needed to burn off calories, however you don’t want to overdo it if your dog hasn’t been active. Swimming and extra walks could do the trick and keep your dog’s weight in line. You may want to look into dog health insurance especially if your puppy’s breed is prone to weight gain.
5. Illnesses – Your dog can develop health conditions like Cushing’s syndrome if your dog’s adrenal glands produce too much cortisol. The symptoms can include increased appetite, thirst, breathing difficulty and a pot-belly. Fat dogs may also suffer from hypothyroidism or an under-active thyroid which may make your dog gain weight, seem lethargic, and be less tolerant of exercise. Diabetes in dogs may also result in weight gain. Be sure to make an appointment with your vet if your dog has an unexplainable weight gain.
Simple Ways to Help Your Dog Cut Calories
- Canned Pumpkin – Good fiber content and very filling for your dog.
- Vegetables – You can give your dog frozen vegetable and carrots as low calorie treats.
- Ice Cubes – Broken pieces of ice are great treats with no calories and help to keep your dog hydrated.
Special Note About Fat Dogs: Always consult with your vet if your dog exhibits any change in his weight in between regular office visits.
This article gives you reasons your dog may become overweight and some simple ways you can help your dog with exercise and calorie control.
Share this article with your friends and family so they can use this information about dog weight management to help prevent their dog from the pain of life long illnesses like arthritis, diabetes and heart problems. You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from enchantingpets.