According to a survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, a startling 56% of all dogs across America were overweight in 2018. As cute as a chubby dog can be, this extra weight can be dangerous to them.
Different breeds of dog have different standard weights and appearances, but a BMI calculation will typically tell you whether your dog is overweight or not. Weighing 10% above the ideal weight is considered overweight, while weighing over 20% is considered obese.
Any dog can become obese, but those who have been desexed tend to be more at risk due to metabolic shifts and hormone loss. There are also some breeds that are automatically more predisposed to being overweight, including:
- Basset Hounds
- Cairn Terriers
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Cocker Spaniels
- Labrador Retrievers
- Scottish Terriers
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- West Highland White Terriers
A mere five pounds of extra weight can be potentially deadly to a dog due to their increased disease risk for conditions like:
- Bladder stones
- Blood pressure issues
- Heart disease
- Joint problems
- Reduced life span
- Respiratory problems
- Type 2 Diabetes
Luckily, there are some things you can do to help your dog maintain a healthy weight or shed a few extra pounds. Here are your options:
Take your dog out for a walk. Play a long game of fetch. Chase each other around the yard. There are so many ways to get a dog moving and exercising, so try them out! You can even try getting fit together.
A good diet for a dog will have balanced calorie amounts. Cut down on portion sizes, reduce treats and swap them for healthier ones, and stop giving your dog human foods. Speak to a vet before going trough with big diet changes, though!
Practice Some Restraint
We all know how hard it is to say no to a dog with huge puppy dog eyes begging for treats. But you need to do what’s best for them. So suck it up, find your willpower, and say no to excess table scraps, too many treats, and early mealtimes.
Feature Image Source: Pixabay