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Is Your Dog Obese?

March 24, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

has your dog put on a few extra points?

Your dog may like to think he's in charge of what he eats and when, but you know that you ultimately are. Because pet owners are responsible for their dogs' diet, it's important to recognize the signs of canine obesity. But although 34% of dogs are overweight of obese, only 30-40% of their owners are aware of that.

Canine obesity is a serious problem that can significantly shorten your pet's lifespan, and cause significant issues. An overweight or obese dog is likely to suffer from musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular issues, glucose tolerance imbalances, and exercise problems. These issues can reduce your pet's quality of life significantly, and it's all because of a little too much indulgence at the food bowl.

What Makes Dogs Fat?

Although it may seem oversimplified, most obesity issues among dogs come down to one simple formula: too much food, too little exercise. For busy pet owners, it's often difficult to pay attention to how much Fido is eating, and all too easy to cut a walk into a five-minute potty break.

Hormones, genetics, and reproductive status can also have a hand in your dog's overall health, but your attitude about your canine's weight can ultimately have the most impact. It's important to take the threat of health issues seriously as a pet owner and spot weight problems before they're difficult to reverse.

How to Help Your Dog Achieve Healthy Weight Loss

The good news? It's easier for dogs to lose weight than for humans. Dogs don't stop for a 400-calorie latte on their way home from work every day and aren't often tempted by fast food. Here are a few simple steps to help your dog lose weight:

  1. Talk to your vet to come up with a plan of action
  2. Purchase high-quality food, perhaps even a "diet" food, and control portions carefully
  3. Commit to spending more time outside exercising with your dog

With your vet's help and a little bit of commitment, your dog will be healthy in no time. Contact us if you need help along the way.

Topics: Vets Near Me

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.