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Obesity in Dogs

February 1, 2016
Is your canine buddy packing on the pounds? If so, he isn’t the only one. Canine obesity is reaching epidemic proportions. By some estimates, over half of our furry pals are overweight or obese. Fido will still be super cute if he’s chubby, but don’t be fooled into thinking your pudgy pet is just pampered. That extra weight can do some serious damage to your dog’s health! In this article, an Ellicott City, MD vet discusses obesity in dogs.

Dangers of Obesity

That extra weight increases your beloved pet’s risk of developing several dangerous health problems, including heart disease, liver problems, cancer, diabetes, respiratory issues, and bone/joint disorders, such as arthritis. Fido is also more likely to have complications from surgery or anesthesia if he is overweight.

Causes of Obesity

It probably won’t come as much of a shock to realize that Fido’s love of yummy snacks is one of the main factors behind canine obesity. Dogs are experts at convincing us to hand over treats. Stick to your vet’s recommended diet, and don’t overindulge your furry buddy with fatty foods. There’s nothing wrong with giving your pet treats: just choose healthy ones. If you really can’t resist those pleading puppy dog eyes, give your pooch a carrot instead of the sausage he’s hoping for.

Keeping Your Dog Fit

Making sure your pooch is getting enough activity is very important. Your dog’s individual exercise needs will depend on his breed, weight, health, and age, so ask your vet for specific recommendations. That said, most of our four-legged friends need, at the very least, daily walks. If you’re not one for long walks or trips to the doggy park, you can keep Fido active by playing games like fetch, which will keep him moving but won’t tire you out. Swimming can also be a great way to keep your furry buddy in shape.

Helping Fido Lose Weight

Fido must lose weight at a slow and steady pace to slim down without endangering his health. If you think your furry friend needs to drop a few pounds, ask your vet for specific recommendations. Never put a dog on a crash diet: this is very bad for your canine buddy’s metabolism, and could make him very sick! Do you know or suspect that your canine buddy needs to lose weight? Call us, your local Ellicott City, MD animal hospital, today!

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