A chubby doggo looks cute. But having too much fat can cause your furkid some serious, long-term health problems. Read on to learn more about obesity and the diseases associated with it.
What is obesity
Obesity is a nutritional condition where one is overnourished, thus, causing excess body weight and fat. According to PetMD, obesity symptoms include weight gain, having too much body fat, unwillingness to exercise, and being 15% or more above your breed’s optimum weight.
Physically, you can check if your furkid is at an ideal weight. Take a look at him in a bird’s eye view. Your furkid should have an hourglass-like figure with a slight indentation in the loin. Also, you should be able to feel, but not see, his ribs. Alternatively, you can take him to your vet and have his weight checked.
How is obesity a problem?
Many diseases are linked to obesity. An obese dog has an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, liver diseases, arthritis, skin problems, infections, and even cancer.
While still young, prevent obesity and opt for healthy and hearty meals for your furbaby (we recommend Wishbone’s gourmet pet food recipes) with high quality protein, fruits, vegetables, herbs, nutrients, and vitamins. You should also be especially cautious about his diet and nutrition once your dog reaches 5 years of age.
Help your furkid lose weight
Have an overweight or obese dog? Follow these simple steps to help your furkid lose some of his excess fat and weight:
- Feed him with small meals. Remember not to give your dog more than his recommended daily food serving. You can help him lose weight by distributing his food into 4 to 5 smaller meals throughout the day. If you have a job and can’t be home to check on your furbaby’s meal, consider getting an automatic dog feeder with a timer that you can set when to dispense the kibbles.
- Encourage him to exercise. Getting your furbaby to lose weight should start with you, the pet parent. Take your dog to walks more frequently or try enticing him to move more with games like fetch or frisbee. If your furkid is more of an indoor type, keep him busy with a squishy ball or a food-dispensing toy to make him ‘work’ for his meal.
- Don’t over pamper him with treats. Because we love our furkids so much, we love to pamper them all the time. And sometimes, we tend to go overboard with the treats. Remember that treats are counted on his daily caloric intake and too much will make him fat. Read your treats’ label and stick to the feeding guide indicated.
With your help, you can bring your chubby furbaby back to an ideally healthy weight. For more information about obesity and how to help your dog, consult your veterinarian.