How Does Your Dog's Weight Measure Up?
According to a 2014 study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention more than half of our pet dogs are overweight or obese. To be considered overweight a dog must be 15% over the ideal weight for a dog of that breed, and to be considered obese a dog must be 30% or more above the ideal weight for the animal.
Obesity usually occurs as a result of an imbalance between the amount of energy consumed and the amount of energy expended (although there can be other individual reasons for such weight gain). Obese dogs are often older, female and, spayed (due to change in metabolism and loss of hormones).
Age can also be a factor in obesity since as dogs get older they tend to be less active and lose lean body mass. Consult with your Vet to adjust food intake accordingly as your dog ages.
Obesity can cause or contribute to serious health problems. Serious problems made worse by obesity include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Respiratory issues
- Orthopaedic problems
- Some forms of cancer
To determine if your dog is at a healthy weight, other than regular Vet visits one can check online for "body condition charts" in order to get a visual idea of what your dog should look like at an ideal weight. In general, one should be able to easily feel a dog's rib bones, spine, above, and pelvic bones without them being visible or protruding. At the waist, there should be a visible tuck.
If you suspect your dog is overweight or obese, don't go it alone; seek the advice of a Veterinarian to put your dog on a healthy plan for weight loss. Keeping your dog active and at a healthy weight not only means a happier and healthier dog but also a dog who will most likely have a longer life to share with his/her human family.
Thanks for reading.
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