Did you know that obesity is the most common disease in dogs, affecting around thirty percent of the canine population? Moreover, around half the dog population ages 5 – 11 has obesity issues.
While obesity may look like nothing more than just an accumulation of body fat, it comes with numerous risks. For example, obesity can lead to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other issues. Thus, preventing your dog from getting obese is essential to having them live a healthy, fruitful, stress-free, and vibrant life.
There are easy ways to control dog obesity, like feeding sustainable pet food, ensuring portion control, and checking your pet’s health regularly. However, one of the primary reasons dogs have obesity is that their owners fail to identify it early. They think that their dog is healthy and has an ideal body weight when, in fact, they do not.
So, how do you know whether your pet dog is obese or not? You can refer to the image below to determine your pet’s condition.
Thus, we can see that the dog may not look obese in earlier stages. It is only when the fat deposition becomes apparent that we figure out that our dog is fat. So, go ahead and check your dog for obesity signs right now!
If your dog is not obese, congratulations! However, that doesn’t guarantee that they won’t get obese in the future especially if you don’t control what they eat. So, to ensure your pet doesn’t get obese, here are some tips you can follow to prevent it.
- Feed Your Dog as per Their Nutritional Needs
Dogs’ nutritional needs vary according to age, health condition, and breed. For example, puppies need more protein in their diet due to their growing bodies compared to fully-grown adult dogs. Similarly, a pug’s nutritional requirements are entirely different from those of a Siberian Husky.
There is no all-purpose dog food that can be given to them. Feeding food with the wrong nutritional content can result in a dog’s obesity due to a higher intake of proteins, fats, and calories than required.
Thus, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian who can suggest the best food for your dog. They will examine your dog’s current age, health, and breed to create a diet chart that best suits their needs.
- Give Them Hypoallergenic Sustainable Dog Food
If the veterinarian-recommended diet contains food items your dog is allergic to, you can feed them hypoallergenic sustainable dog food instead. These food items provide the same nutrition while being good for the planet and easy on your dog’s gut health.
For example, hypoallergenic dog treats from crickets contain twice as much protein as beef. They are also rich in calcium, iron, omega 3, vitamin B12, chitin, and 9 amino acids. Moreover, they are easily digestible, have shown promising results in pets with food allergies, and release fewer greenhouse gases.
Thus, if your pet has food allergies, opting for hypoallergenic and sustainable food is the easiest way. It will simultaneously provide your pet dogs with the required nutrients and prevent allergies and obesity.
- Ensure Portion Control
Portion control is critical to prevent obesity in dogs. Most pet owners overestimate the amount of food their pets need. Thus, they end up overfeeding them regularly. This, in turn, can lead to obesity.
Thus, ask your veterinarian for your dog’s portion recommendation. Make sure that you stick to the veterinarian’s advice without fail.
Moreover, decide on a meal schedule. Feed your dog only at specific times to prevent overfeeding. Dogs need to be fed twice a day. However, they might need to be provided three to four meals daily, depending upon circumstances.
Therefore, it is recommended to take the advice of your veterinarian to determine the portion and the feeding schedule for your dog.
- Give Them Proper Exercise
Exercising helps maintain the balance between the number of calories taken in and the number of calories spent. Your dog can quickly burn off the excess calories and prevent obesity by exercising daily.
Your dog can do exercises that include running, swimming, walking, and playing. Consult your veterinarian about the exercise schedule and activities your pet can undertake to avoid negative consequences.
Dog obesity is not a great thing to have. It can lead to severe health issues and even reduce your dog’s lifespan. Thus, you must take all the necessary steps to prevent dog obesity. We hope that the tips mentioned in this blog will help you in your efforts. They are easy to implement and can help with obesity prevention to a great extent.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Problems Can Overweight Dogs Have?
Overweight or obese dogs have an increased risk of various cancers, heart diseases, hypertension, osteoarthritis, urinary bladder stones, and diabetes. In short, it negatively impacts the dog’s health.
- Does Obesity Reduce a Dog’s Life?
Yes, research has shown that dogs with obesity have a lifespan reduced by two and a half years on average. This is mainly due to the health issues that develop due to obesity, such as hypertension and cancer. Thus, it is of utmost importance to prevent the development of obesity in dogs.
- What Is the Quickest Way to Reduce the Dog’s Weight?
The quickest and easiest way to reduce the dog’s weight is to prevent overfeeding. However, you must also ensure that the dog’s nutritional requirements are met. Moreover, if your dog has any food allergies, you need to switch to hypoallergenic sustainable dog treats to prevent further complications.
- How Many Times in a Day Should a Dog Eat?
A dog should be fed at least two meals, about 12 hours apart. Do not let the gap between meals extend beyond 12 hours. In exceptional cases, the dog may be required to be fed three to four times daily.
- How Do I Know if I Am Feeding My Dog Enough Food?
There are various factors to consider to determine if you are feeding your dog the right amount of food. These include the general feeding guide, the dog’s lifestyle, the dog’s health issues (if any), and the amount of exercise, to mention a few.