Have you ever looked down at your pup and said to yourself, “Wow, old Blue is looking a bit pudgy?” Dogs are just as susceptible to gaining weight as us humans. Unfortunately, it is not something to be considered “cute” or “adorable.” Overweight pups can experience the same health difficulties that we humans also incur through obesity. It is important to treat your pup on occasion, but there is a difference between over-feeding and a healthy meal.
Puppy obesity can be the results of many different reasons. Over feeding is one of the most notorious. You have to remember that dogs can eat just like a goldfish, and often don’t know better. Sometimes, when experiencing conditions such as depression (dogs get depressed, too) pups tend to eat excessively.
Lack of exercise is a big problem as well, as we don’t often find the time of day to escort old Blue around the block for a daily walk.
Dogs commonly at risk for obesity are usually female, neutered, or spayed dogs.
Obesity is indeed a health issue when it comes to your canine companion. High cholesterol can lead to blood pressure and heart problems resulting in wheezing and respiratory problems. As fluids build up around your pup’s heart, they are more susceptible to heart diseases as well. Kidney diseases and even cancer can become more likely in an overweight pup.
Diabetes can also become an issue with your pup, as their resistance to insulin from their pancreas increases. Their body fails to absorb sugars and can lead to problems throughout their organs.
Getting healthy again
As your pup’s owner, it is up to you to get your pup back to their healthy self. You can’t just toss old Blue up on a treadmill or through the gym doors though, it is going to be a continuing effort for both you and your pup. The good thing is, a pup is almost always willing to get up and work with you, whether it’s playtime or a walk around the block. Eating, on the other hand can pose a slight problem.
There are programs available to help with obese pups; they can train you on helpful ways to get your pup to get healthy and happy. If your pup’s condition is severe (only about 5% of cases) medical help may be necessary.
Diet is the most important part of your pup’s health regimen. It is not always the amount of food you’re plopping down in their bowl. You’ll want to eliminate some of that barbeque and leftovers you constantly slip them. These high cholesterol foods aren’t good for them. You can ask your vet about a low calorie/low cholesterol dog food brand to get an idea of what you’ll need to look for when feeding time comes. Pups do need to still eat, but a strict feeding regimen is likely needed.
Exercise is going to be your next step. This doesn’t mean that you need to take you’re pup out for a ten mile hike the first day. Going to extremes too fast will hurt their body, so you’ll need to work them up the exercise levels.
Special clinics do offer advice and help design a specific regiment for your pup to follow, but most times a vet can tell you some of the guidelines you need to follow since they are fully aware or your pup’s well-being already.