Is your pooch getting a bit round? If so, Fido is definitely in good company. More than half of our canine buddies are obese or overweight. That may sound like a cute problem to have, but it’s actually quite serious. Even being just 10 percent over his ideal weight can decrease Fido’s lifespan by as much as a third! A Sandstone, MN vet discusses canine obesity in this article.
Fido is considered overweight when he is between 10 and 20 percent over his ideal weight, and obese when he is more than 20 percent heavier than he should be. As one would expect, diet and exercise are the two main factors that come into play here. However, they aren’t the only ones. Your canine pal’s breed also plays a role. Some pups are just more prone to getting chubby than others. Some of the pooches that tend to be on the heavy side include Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Golden Retrievers, and Pugs. Age is another factor. As your canine pal gets older, he’ll become less active, which will make it easier for him to pack on extra pounds. In some cases, medical issues, such as hypothyroidism and insulinoma, cause weight gain. If you aren’t sure why your pup is packing on pounds, contact your vet.
Pudgy pups are adorable, but they’re also at risk of developing some serious health problems. Some of these include heart problems; kidney and/or liver disease; diabetes; respiratory issues; and certain cancers. Carrying extra weight around also increases your pooch’s chances of developing bone/joint issues, and can exacerbate pre-existing ones. Other potential issues include skin trouble, difficulty reproducing, and difficulty with anesthesia. Ask your vet for more information.
In order to keep your canine companion at a healthy weight, you’ll need to start with his diet. Calorie count is of course a factor. You’ll also need to pay attention to portion control: even giving your dog a few extra calories a day can add up. Exercise is also important. Your furry pal’s exact needs will depend on his age, size, and breed, so ask your vet for specific advice. Last but not least, you may need to steel yourself against Fido’s begging theatrics. You aren’t doing your pup any favors by overfeeding him!
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