Obesity and its effects on dogs

There’s a weight problem in America and it isn’t just affecting humans. The most recent statistics classify the majority of dogs in the U.S.—56%— as overweight or obese. While that makes obesity a major health crisis for dogs, it’s a problem that’s often overlooked, as many pet owners may not even realize their pets are overweight. According to Vet Innovations, the most common causes of Obesity are

  • Lack of awareness. Pet parents don’t always recognize excessive weight in their pets. As a result, action steps to control portions and reduce pet weight may be delayed.
  • Lack of compliance. It is often difficult for pet parents to comply with portion control or weight maintenance programs, particularly in multi-pet homes.
  • Genetic components, susceptibilities within certain breeds, single-gene mutations, and neuroendocrine pathways in terms of responses to food.
  • Overfeeding through unmeasured feeding, free feeding, and food stealing.
  • Feeding of high-calorie foods/treats and table scraps.
  • Feeding for emotional reasons—showing love for the pet through extra feeding or by using food treats as frequent rewards.
  • Lack of adequate exercise in proportion to calories consumed

The most Common Obesity Related Conditions in Dogs are:

  • Arthritis
  • Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Torn Knee Ligaments
  • Diabetes
  • Disc Disease in spine
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Heart Failure
  • High Blood Pressure

An obese dog should be seen by its veterinarian. A complete blood panel, CBC, thyroid functions should be done and a cortisol level considered. Ask you vet about diet changes and become disciplined in feeding your obese dog.