Posted on: 19 July 2018Share
When your dog is overweight, it is more than just a cosmetic problem. Just like humans, an overweight dog is subject to a variety of health problems and your dog could end up in an animal hospital with complications. Also, like humans, dogs are generally overweight for similar reasons and habits. Here is more information on the health problems your dog could face by being overweight and what you can do to help bring your dog back into shape.
Complications if Your Dog is Overweight
Even if your dog is only overweight by a small percentage, he or she may be at risk for diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, and heart problems. Some large breeds may also have hip problems as the weight puts an extra strain in that area. Dogs who aren't feeling well or are hurting are less likely to have a good quality and quantity of life, not to mentioned the increased veterinary bills they incur.
Determining the Correct Weight for Your Dog
With a simple search, you could find various online tools and websites that can help give you a general idea of how much your dog should weigh. You can also use the old method of feeling for your dog's ribs or spine, but that doesn't help if your dog is carrying most of his or her weight in the belly. Your veterinarian can also help you determine if your dog is overweight.
Ways to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
The key is exercise more and feed less calories. Don't feed according to the directions on your dog food's package. Those guidelines are generally for young, active, and normal-weight dogs. Use a measuring cup to determine portion size and do not leave food out all day. Reduce the amount of treats and when you do feed them one, make sure it's healthy and high in protein. Your veterinarian can also suggest lower-calorie dog food, as well. Get your dog out and moving. If you're unable to walk him or her, hire someone to do it for you. Build up exercise slowly until your dog gets into better shape.
Getting your dog in shape may not be easy as some dogs can be very insistent about treats and resistant to exercise. It's important that you be consistent and not give in. Before you get your pet into an involved exercise and diet program, have your dog checked out by your veterinarian and see what options are available to make weight loss easier. Any time your dog is suffering from any type of health issues, contact an animal hospital like Animal Emergency Clinic and have him or her checked out to rule out any serious problems.