Not all modern dogs are used for work, most of the four-legged friends lead a measured, calm lifestyle, without the need for intense loads. Pets sleep a lot, eat plentifully, move a little, which, of course, negatively affects their weight. Not surprisingly, too often obesity is detected in dogs that threaten their health. How to understand that a pet has problems and needs help?
Danger of obesity
Excess weight visually changes the pet, and if he is a participant in exhibitions, he will have to forget about such events until losing weight and returning to the usual form. But this is the lesser of evils, obesity can significantly affect the health of a pet:
- First of all, the load falls on the musculoskeletal system, the joints that begin to collapse are the first to feel it;
- dogs with excess body weight more often than others suffer from diseases of the cardiovascular system, as a result they cannot tolerate full-fledged physical activity;
- metabolic processes in the body are disrupted, which leads to an inevitable decrease in immunity, the development of diabetes, oncological diseases;
- in males there is a decrease in sexual desire, in bitches, estruses become irregular or completely disappear.
If the dog's weight exceeds the norm by 20% and above, we are talking about obesity. When the owner cannot find out the reason on his own, he should consult with a veterinarian.
Causes of Overweight in Dogs
Most often, obesity of pets is associated with malnutrition, which is more dependent on the owners themselves. The dog will inevitably gain weight in the following cases:
- If she constantly overeats - this happens when the owner does not adhere to the feeding regimen and does not dose food.
- Feeding with cheap diets that contain large amounts of poorly digestible components, harmful additives and little animal protein can disrupt the digestive tract and lead to excess weight gain.
- When a pet constantly receives food from the master's table - both sweets and waste. The most harmful products for the animal’s body are: sweets, fatty, spicy dishes, etc. The situation is exacerbated by “compassionate” guests who cannot help but treat the host dog.
In addition, there are a number of breeds, representatives of which more often than others suffer from obesity. These include basset hounds, beagles, dachshunds, golden retriever, labradors, cocker spaniels. Owners of such dogs should pay more attention to the issue of nutrition of their four-legged friends.
Low activity is another common reason why the dog begins to "increase in size", increasing fat. This is especially true of working breeds, whose representatives need intensive physical work, but do not receive them in the proper amount.
A dog can also gain weight against the background of any pathological process occurring in the body: due to metabolic disturbances, malfunctioning of the thyroid gland, tumor development, etc. If the cause of obesity is associated with diseases, then a mandatory diagnostic examination and competent treatment are required . In other cases, the owner should review the pet’s diet and adjust it.
Feeding an Obese Pet
To normalize the weight of the pet, you need to follow the following recommendations:
- the dog must not be allowed to starve;
- reduce a single serving of food;
- feed the dog often, but in small portions;
- make sure that the pet does not take food from strangers, does not pick up food on the street;
- food intake should occur according to the established regimen;
- no additional fertilizing, even encouraging goodies can be temporarily replaced with more wholesome food or generally affection.
The dog's diet should be balanced and nutritious, contain nutrients and low in fat. It is best to consult a nutritionist, and if this is not possible, then you can follow the advice of experienced dog breeders:
- from the diet it is necessary to completely remove all harmful products, especially those containing a lot of fat, spices, smoked and salty foods;
- include more vegetables in the animal’s menu - sources of important vitamins, fiber, which cleanses the intestines. In addition, they contain few calories;
- You can give cereal porridge to your pet, but oat and buckwheat, cooked on water, without additives, including salt, are best suited;
- the list of harmful products in obesity includes potatoes and rice - they contain a lot of carbohydrates;
- meat is an important component of the nutrition of animals belonging to predators, and even with a diet it is impossible to exclude it from the dog’s diet. It is undesirable to feed the dog pork, lamb, ducklings. Dietary is considered turkey, rabbit, chicken, you can also feed beef with your pet.
If the dog eats industrial food, then it will have to be replaced with a more suitable product. You should choose from premium and super premium brands, focusing on special dietary diets intended for animals that are obese or have a tendency to gain weight.
Grain-free feeds are ideal, they are distinguished by high balance, but they cost an order of magnitude more than other dry rations. With the right selection of food, the pet will stop getting fat, and gradually its weight will begin to decrease.
Watch the video how to lose weight with a dog:
Another important aspect of healthy weight loss is to increase the load. But you should definitely consider the general condition of the pet. When the dog is too fat, you can not force him to run, because, in addition to fatigue, this will increase the load on the heart and musculoskeletal system. In general, it is important to observe the measure, especially when it comes to an elderly animal.
You can increase the duration of the walk, first by 15-20 minutes. Make it a rule on weekends to make longer walks - in the park or forest belt. You should play more often using different objects, provoking the dog to additional activity.
If possible, it is recommended to go with the pet to the pool, and in the warmer months to give him a swim in a suitable pond for this. Water procedures will allow the dog to lose weight without much effort.
The life expectancy of friends of our four-legged animals, unfortunately, is very small, and obesity can reduce it by an order of magnitude. Therefore, so that the pet is near for as long as possible, pleased with its positive, it is important to monitor its weight, physical fitness and health.