Obesity is accompanied by many severe health problems. Like humans, even dogs are prone to diseases like cancer, kidney diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases and osteoarthritis. Obesity not only spreads these diseases, but also reduces the lifespan of the dog.
Occurrence of obesity in dogs is not unusual and can be treated the same way it is done for the humans. A balanced diet and moderate amount of exercise are the key factors in reducing obesity in dogs too. Animals cannot speak and take decisions for themselves. The owner of the pet is solely responsible for the problem of obesity in their dogs.
Facts and Statistics
Excessive feeding and no exercise opens the door to obesity. Many countries are facing the problem of canine obesity. Labradors, dachshunds, terriers, and cocker spaniels are some of the common dog breeds that are prone to obesity. However, obesity can happen to other dogs too if they are over fed.
The rate of obesity in dogs is increasing in western countries. The causes of obesity in dogs is same as that of humans. Here are a few statistics on canine obesity.
- As per the statistics of Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine there are around 22 to 40 percent of obesity dog cases.
- As per the Pet Obesity Prevention statistics, 56% of dogs are either overweight or reached the stage of obesity.
- As the canine obesity cases have shot up to 50.2 million, it has become an important priority to make the dog owners aware about the ill effects of obesity in dogs.
- Even factors such as the age, breed, hormonal imbalance and lifestyle triggers the problem of obesity.
- Signs of obesity in dogs can be seen after 4-5 years of age.
- The accumulated fat in the body can create pressure on bones and joints, making it difficult for the dog to move. Each breed of dog weighs different and if their weight begins to exceed the normal weight, it is a clear sign of heading towards obesity.
- Insufficient exercise and improper diet can cause the weight to increase. If such a weight gain is ignored, the dogs turn into the overweight stage.
- Overweight stage occurs when the weight exceeds by few kilos than the normal weight of the dog. This is the major indication of heading into obesity.
Obesity can be prevented if necessary measures are taken at the right time. Recognizing the symptoms is always a better way of prevention as it stops the problem from progressing.
The owner of the dog must be responsible enough to take the dog to the vet for regular checkups. Veterinarians can be of great help in detecting symptoms of any health conditions and take quick actions in preventing the disease from turning severe.
In case the dog is in the obesity stage already, take the help of the vet and opt for its healthy lifestyle. An obese dog will feel more lethargic and avoid exercising. It is then the owner's duty to coax its dog for some exercise. Walking is a great way to get your dog to start exercising.
Also, include all the healthy and essential nutrients in your dog's diet and take it for daily walks. As the weight reduces, increase the exercise regimen of your dog. Cutting on the dog treats too can reduce risk of fat accumulation.
Responsible pet owners stand a better chance of saving their pet from the problem of obesity. However, these statistics and other effects of illness have created awareness among many other dog owners, who now realize the importance of their pet's health.