Greediness and lack of activity are factors in overweight dogs. As in humans, dog obesity is not without risk for his health and it is important to be concerned about his weight in time.
How do I know if my dog is overweight? How can I prevent dog obesity? How can I make my dog lose weight?
How do I know if my dog is overweight?
To determine if your dog is overweight, a few palpations are enough to get the first idea. When the dog’s ribs are palpated, they should feel without exerting pressure. You should be able to count them by simply passing your hand over them without feeling a layer of fat on top. The spine should also be palpable with a simple hand sweep, if you can’t feel your dog’s vertebrae, he may have a few extra pounds.
Similarly, if when you stand over him, his body appears like a rectangle without being able to distinguish his size, then your dog is showing symptoms of overweight.
The notion of overweight varies from breed to breed. Some breeds are known to be stocky, and it will be difficult to tell if they are a few pounds overweight or not, while others with a thin physique will easily appear obese.
Ideally, if you suspect your dog is overweight, it is advisable to seek the advice of a veterinarian.
The consequences of dog obesity
Obesity is harmful to the dog’s health and reduces its life expectancy. It not only causes motor difficulties but also promotes diabetes and weakens the heart system. The animal is then more sensitive to the effort, quickly runs out of breath, and presents thermal regulation difficulties.
How can we prevent dog obesity?
Limiting the risk of overweight dogs requires physical activity and a balanced diet. A sedentary animal will find it more difficult to eliminate the caloric intakes ingested, especially if these are too rich. An active dog is a healthy and happy dog. If you live in an apartment, plan a time during the week to bring your dog to exercise, you will quickly notice physical and mental results. If you live in a house with a garden, it will be easier to exercise him daily. Don’t neglect activities, even if you have a garden, the dog will rarely exercise alone and will wait for you to come and play with him. Spend a few minutes a day running him a little and keeping him in shape.
Dogs are greedy and they know how to coax you at mealtimes, but you must know how to resist and not respond to their begging. As for dog treats, they should remain occasional and not become a habit.
Make my dog lose weight
To make an obese dog lose weight, food and physical activity are the only remedies.
Ask your veterinarian for advice on which diet to choose and how much to eat. It is easy to find kibbles for obese dogs that are lower in calories and suitable for the diet. For the dog’s diet to be effective, it is important to respect the recommended quantities and not to make any deviations in his diet (treats, leftovers). Ideally, the daily ration should be divided into two or three meals.
In some cases, the veterinarian may prescribe medication to reduce the dog’s appetite.
It is imperative that the diet be supplemented by increasing physical activity. Overweight or not, a dog must be active. If you don’t have time during the week, take advantage of the weekend to go for a long walk. Why not take the opportunity to invite other dog owners? Your pet will spend even more time in the company of other dogs.
During the diet, you should weigh your dog regularly to follow the evolution of his weight. If your dog does not lose weight, despite all the efforts made, it is possible that the cause is internal. Hormonal and thyroid dysregulation are possible causes of overweight. In this case, it is advisable to ask your veterinarian who will carry out a more thorough examination.