Obesity in dogs is an increasingly frequent problem. Weight dramatically influences the health of our pets.
Nutrition, exercise, and genetics are determining factors, and as owners, we must have the first two controlled to avoid diseases associated with obesity.
These are the most common causes that we must monitor if we want to avoid obesity in dogs:
It is probably the most frequent cause of obesity. The daily ration that we should give our dog has to correspond to its ideal weight, that is, the kilograms that it should weigh considering its size, height, and age.
This ideal weight is indicated in the feed bag; If our dog is already overweight and we feed him according to the kilograms he weighs, we will continue to keep him obese.
Overfeeding can be as harmful as feeding poorly: poor quality feed and excess hypercaloric foods such as dog rewards can lead to overweight and obesity.
To buy a quality feed, we must look at its composition, what meat the proteins come from if there are a variety of ingredients, and they have no dyes or additives.
The quality of the awards is also essential. Besides, we should not exceed the maximum number of snacks per day that we can give a dog.
Sedentary pets tend to gain weight quickly, and more if they are not well fed. Thus, physical exercise is an essential part of dogs.
Dogs must walk several times a day, and at least one of these walks must be one hour. If we walk in an environment where you can have the freedom to run, sniff, and play with other dogs and us, the better.
Dogs with a lot of energy can be recommended to practice agility, a complete exercise in which they discharge energy and improve their confidence with their owner to overcome obstacles.
3. Eat leftovers
Food for humans has many more kilocalories than those of pets and, although the leftovers seem small, it is a very caloric food for the animal. Sugar is also higher in our food, and in excess, it is harmful to dogs.
Also, getting used to our dog to eat leftovers will not want to eat their feed and learn to beg for food while we are sitting at the table.
We must get used to feeding our pets following a schedule and not leaving their feeder full and available throughout the day. We can feed adult dogs up to twice a day.
There are hormonal diseases that can cause weight gain. If your dog gains a lot of weight in a short time, and without an apparent cause, you should consult a veterinarian to rule out a possible disease.
5. Genetics and age
Obesity in dogs is more frequent in some breeds than in others: the labrador, the golden retriever, the dachshund, the bulldogs, the carlines … are an example.
Also, with age, the energy requirements change, and we must adjust the type and quantity of feed to their needs. A puppy will need more energetic food and for more shots per day than an adult or senior dog. During pregnancy and lactation, females also need more food.
Castration may be one of the causes of obesity, but it is fully controllable if we follow proper eating and exercise guidelines.
These are the five leading causes of obesity in dogs.
Remember that maintaining a healthy weight is a measure of prevention of other more severe diseases such as diabetes. There are formulated feeds for pets with obesity that we can combine with a progressive exercise to help our dog lose weight if he is already obese.