Humans tend to adore the plump and pudgy appearance of their dogs. However, as a dog owner, you need to be responsible and keep your dogs healthy to avoid canine obesity. There are numerous health risks that are associated with dog obesity. To prevent your dogs from gaining too much weight, the calories that they are burning should exceed the amount of their calorie intake. This may sound so simple, but in reality, it’s not. Let us first examine the causes of the overweight dogs.
Factors that Can Lead to Canine Obesity
There are a lot of factors that can cause canine obesity. One of the major factors would be their food intake vs their level of activity. There are times when dog owners are clueless about the calorie intake of their pets which makes it difficult for them to maintain the weight and the health of their dog. There are litanies of things to consider when you are determining the right amount of calorie intake. For instance, the age of your dog can affect the calorie imbalance. Older dogs will exercise less, but we still feed them with the same amount of calorie which make most old dogs unhealthy and overweight.
Generally, the amount of calories needed by your dog is relatively small. Small dogs that are not that active will only require 185-370 calories/day; huge dogs with an average weight of 67-88lbs will need 1,100-1,700 daily supply of calorie. In case you have overweight dogs, it is time to trim those calories.
Another cause of unhealthy dogs is the lack of exercise. The level of exercise they need will depend on their size, breed and their age. We recommend at least 20 minutes of daily exercise to keep them in good shape. It’s a good idea to get them out walking and possibly at play at a dog park. Chronic conditions may also contribute to the obesity of your overweight dogs. Take them to the vet and find out if they have hypothyroidism or hyperadrenocorticism. The dog’s genetics may also be a contributing factor. Shetland Sheepdog, rough collies, Labrador retrievers, dachshund are more likely to become overweight.
Helping our Unhealthy Dogs Lose Weight
With most humans, losing fat and achieving their desired weight in a healthy way can be an overwhelming process. But with the dogs, it is much easier. Before you proceed, make sure to set an appointment with your vet to guarantee that the dog’s obesity is not caused by a medical problem. You may also ask them to calculate the rational calorie intake for your dog. Your vet can then use the RER or the MER method to determine the proper calorie. You should never restrict the calorie intake of your overweight dogs too severely since it may result to nutritional deficiency and affect their immune system. Crash diets can affect the health and wellness of your dog, so steer clear of this method of dieting.
The size of your overweight dogs is a result from a poor judgment on calorie intake and poor exercise. It takes time before your dog will return to its original shape but with the right amount of dedication, passion, and responsibility as a dog owner, you can guarantee that your dog will soon be fit and healthy.