Around 50% of all dogs kept in the World are overweight. Is your dog one of them? Healthy dog food in normal quantities is one of the most important keys to a healthy lifestyle.
Obesity is one of the biggest malnutrition problems seen in dogs with increasing frequency. While the consequences of this are not immediately apparent, they can be serious for the dog’s health.
Overweight and Ideal Weight in the Dog
A dog is not a cat, we all know that – why do some dog owners still think they can feed their dog cat food? Quite simply for lack of information. A dog has different needs than a cat, and its diet is very special. If you consider that obesity is one of the most common diet-related diseases in our consumer society and those deficiency symptoms are rare, the question of the ideal weight for our dog arises. How do you calculate it, and how do you know if a dog is overweight?
Dogs Have Different Energy Requirements
To answer this question, you have to know that a dog’s energy needs depend on different factors. For an exact calculation, the respective phase of life (puppy, pregnant, suckling …), the level of activity, and the dog’s state of health must be taken into account. Weight standards also depend on the specific breed of dog.
Determine the Dog’s Weight
To find out your dog’s weight, first weigh yourself, then pick up your dog and weigh yourself again with him. The difference between the two results is the weight of your dog. Obesity is the result of too much energy beforehand, which then accumulates in the body in the form of adipose tissue.
One usually speaks of being overweight when the weight of the dog is 10% above its ideal weight.
Obesity is seen as a disease as it can result in a number of other diseases and affect the animal’s lifespan.
Dog Too Fat: Causes
What makes a dog overweight? One thing is certain, the puppies are not born that way, even if some are a little stronger than others.
The reason is very simple: the dog consumes more energy than it uses. But he’s not overweight just because he eats too much;
Obesity is a real disease that causes a change in metabolism.
Some reasons may seem minor, and yet they can be a major contributor to obesity. For example, when two animals eat more together than when they eat alone. In such a case, the animals should be separated while they are eating. In addition, the bad habits of the master can also be the reason for obesity: the thicker the master, the thicker the dog!
For example, some are so happy that their dog has eaten that they fill the bowl straight away. In addition, the new types of feed are increasingly geared towards the needs of the animals, but they are also becoming more and more appetizing. So it is up to the owners to strictly adhere to the daily rations. In addition, you should also pay attention to how much the dog eats between the actual meals – for example in the form of treats – in order to be able to keep the energy supply under control.
A healthy dog does not necessarily have to eat a lot or all of what it is given.
Dog Gains Weight After Sterilization
Can sterilization of a bitch lead to obesity? Yes and no. It is true that sterilized bitches are twice as overweight as non-sterilized ones. However, this is mostly due to the fact that their amount of food was not adjusted after the operation. Because the energy consumption of a sterilized or castrated animal, whether male or female, is significantly lower than that of a fertile animal.
Due to the lack of sex hormones as a result of castration/sterilization, the animal consumes and needs less energy. Therefore, the amount of food after the operation should definitely be reduced.
Obese and Sick Dogs
Some dog owners put their pets on a diet for aesthetic reasons when they find they are overweight. But even if appearance is not important to you, you should act urgently in such a case, because obesity can lead to many serious illnesses.
The life expectancy of obese animals are falling, and according to a recent study by veterinarians, the risk of cancer increases by 50%. In addition, being overweight leads to more strokes and the animals find it harder to breathe. In addition, obesity can cause joint pain.
An overweight animal is also more susceptible to infections and responds differently to medication than animals of normal weight. For the health of the animal, one should therefore try to avoid being overweight.
Tips Against Obesity
Of course, the first thing to do is to change your diet. The owner must be aware that weight loss is essential for the health of his dog.
A healthy appetite is a sign of a healthy dog, but a dog that eats continuously is not healthy.
Beware, the dog will find it difficult to get used to the reduced food intake. He will keep besieging his master, but it is incredibly important not to give in now and to stand firm.
Moral support during the diet is very important for the dog and owner. Industrial foods can be of great help here, even if you haven’t used them before, as there are foods that are specifically made for dieting. In this way, you can offer your dog balanced, tasty, and at the same time light food. Caution during the transition phase to diet: To avoid diarrhea, the change in diet should take place over a period of about a week. Gradually get your dog used to the new diet by mixing the new food with the old one.
Dog Obesity Overview
Factors that favor obesity:
- The presence of another dog while eating;
- Disregard of the daily rations;
- Lack of exercise.
Consequences of obesity:
- Motor difficulties;
- Heart disease;
- Increased risk of diabetes;
- Lower life expectancy.
A strict diet: stay firm – for your dog’s sake:
- Set the diet for a medium-term duration (2 to 3 months);
- Consult a veterinarian for advice;
- Draw up a monthly balance sheet;
- The whole family has to stick to the agreements;
- Choose a food that is easy to feed;
- If you have difficulty with this, you can also trust your dog to friends, who are more strict and less sensitive to your dog’s “wailing”.