If you think only a few pet owners have overweight dogs, you’re mistaken. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s research in 2018, almost 50% of dogs in the US are overweight. Our four-legged companion’s fitness and health will depend on us, and whether they get obese is proof of how we look after them.
So if you’re wondering what caused your dog to be overweight or just curious about preventing it in your pet, we’ll tell you everything we know as we get going.
What causes dog obesity?
People nowadays are often drawn to pudgy puppies, plump babies, and other chubby things. However, the health effects associated with obesity when their babies and dogs grow up are far from cute. Fortunately, pet obesity is among the most preventable conditions. So to improve your awareness of preventing your dog from getting overweight, we’ve detailed the five primary causes of dog obesity.
1. Lack of exercise
Getting too little or no exercise is a common reason dogs gain weight. Although the amount of exercise dogs require will depend on their size, breed, and age, aim for 20-60 minutes of activity with your pet daily. But if your pet hasn’t exercised the entire week or month, don’t suddenly go for a 3-mile run with them, as this may cause shock and strain to their body.
Should your dog get broken bones or fractures during your exercise with them, immediately stop the activity and have them checked by a vet surgeon for immediate treatment. You may browse this link to see the common pet conditions requiring surgery.
2. Injuries or health conditions
Pets suffering from chronic conditions, injuries, or illnesses can affect their weight. Dogs with mobility issues or pain due to certain health conditions are less likely to exercise than healthier ones. Since they have lower energy requirements compared to active and fit dogs, they can be easily overfed and gain more weight.
If your dog is in a state where it can’t freely exercise, talk to a vet in an animal hospital in Clearlake about the light exercise routines that will help them stay healthy without any strains and discomfort.
Overfeeding is among the obvious ways dogs become obese. If you live in a household that loves pets, your furry companion could overeat without you knowing, as your family members might feed them human foods or treats at different times and more than what they should consume daily.
However, your dog’s food or treat intake can be easily monitored by marking a calendar or whiteboard in your living room so all your family members can see and keep track. Did you know that obesity can even occur in exotic pets? This is why it’s always important to keep track of their food intake and regularly take them to an exotic vet to ensure they’re healthy and living their best life in their enclosure.
As dogs age, their activity and energy level may drop, leading them to burn fewer calories. Like people, dogs lose muscle when they age. The loss of muscle mass can lead to slower metabolism, causing fat gain. If you don’t modify their diet to compensate for their lack of physical activity, they might get more unnecessary pounds.
Did you know that a decline in sex hormones can make your pet feel hungrier and physically inactive? If you’re seeing the same signs for your recently sterilized pet, seek your vet’s advice for the appropriate food plans for your dog who has gained excessive weight due to neutering or spaying.