Obesity can be life-threatening and is a leading cause of preventable illness and death in dogs. It has been documented that dogs maintaining an ideal body weight live 15 percent longer healthier lives than their overweight counterparts. Obese dogs are more likely to suffer from debilitating medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, compromised immune function and even the development of some cancers.
When is a dog considered to be overweight?
If you’re not sure, pat your hands along your dog’s sides from head to tail. In a healthy-weight dog, you should be able to just feel the ribs. Also, take a look at your dog from the side. Most dogs should have a slightly “tucked up” profile. If all you feel are fat pads on your dog’s sides, or if his/her side profile is more sausage-like than sleek, chances are your friend may need to shed a few.
Are some breeds prone to obesity?
Basset Hounds, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, English Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundland Dogs, Pugs, and Rottweilers are the more common breeds that tend to be overweight.
Why should you have weight loss & management consultation at the clinic?
An examination and consultation with one of our veterinarians can determine if there are underlying conditions that can contribute to obesity, including diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and hypothyroidism. Our veterinarians can determine your dog’s current and ideal body weight and then tell you how many calories your dog can eat each day in order to reach that ideal weight. Your goal should be to work toward that ideal weight over a several-month period.