Did you know that obesity is one of the most common health problems we see in dogs? Well over half of our canine buddies are, well, a bit plump. We know, many people love to spoil their furry companions with yummy treats. However, if Fido is getting round, those snacks could be doing him more harm than good! A Des Moines, IA vet discusses doggy obesity in this article.
Did you know that obese dogs are more likely to develop serious health issues, such as heart disease? Those extra pounds also increase Fido’s odds of having several medical troubles. These issues include skin problems, bone/joint trouble, liver and kidney problems, respiratory issues, reproductive difficulties, and even certain cancers, to name just a few.
Just like with people, dogs’ activity levels play a large role in their overall weight. Walks and playtime are generally Fido’s favorite workouts. Every pooch is different, but most pups need at least a daily walk. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Make sure Fido is eating high-quality, nourishing food that is appropriate for his age. Portion control is very important here. Even giving your furry buddy a few calories too many each day can cause him to pack on extra pounds! It’s worth noting that many lower-quality brands contain carb-heavy fillers, which can cause pets to gain weight.
We really can’t talk about canine obesity without mentioning dogs’ penchant for begging. Fido has definitely perfected that sad-puppy expression that is so effective at getting us to fork over snacks! Treats are fine, but limit your dog’s intake of fatty foods, like bacon. We also recommend keeping treats to about 5 percent of your pup’s daily caloric intake. (Tip: if you really can’t resist that furry face, offer your pooch a carrot stick instead of a meatball.)
Although diet and exercise are both crucial to Fido’s weight, they aren’t the only factors. Breed can also play a role. Some pups are simply more prone to getting pudgy than others are. Age is another factor, as senior dogs often get chubby. Medical issues can also cause obesity. If you aren’t sure why Fido is getting round, have your vet examine him. While you’re there, get some specific advice on his diet and care needs.
Please contact us, your Des Moines, IA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!