We all love to pamper our pets, and feeding them delicious food and tasty treats is one of the ways to do so. It's important to keep an eye on how much you're feeding and exactly what you're feeding, as canine obesity is a growing problem.
Obesity in dogs is just like obesity in humans - it's fundamentally caused by ingesting more energy than is being used. Here, we will take a look at what other factors contribute to obesity, and how to spot the warning signs in your dog.
What causes canine obesity?
There is more to understand about canine obesity than the knowledge that eating more energy than is burned is a chief cause - including getting to grips with exactly how a dog can end up eating too much.
It can be as simple as giving your dog too much food at mealtimes, although it can also be the food itself. If you are looking for healthy food for your dog, BARF raw food replicates your pet's natural diet.
Also, those treats you give your pet every now again - particularly scraps from the table - can also start to add up, while eating alongside other pets can actually encourage your pooch to consume too much.
There are other factors that contribute to obesity. These include age, with older dogs more prone to weight gain as activity levels decrease, whether your pet has been neutered (neutered animals typically struggle less with weight), and certain underlying diseases.
Can you spot obesity in your dog?
Obesity can lead to all sorts of other health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, so it's crucial to keep an eye on your dog for changes to their weight. To do so, you need to be familiar with the signs that your dog may be piling on the pounds.
Regular weigh-ins whenever you visit the vet are an easy way to keep tabs on any changes, but there are plenty of signs that don't require a set of scales to spot. These include difficulty feeling your dog's ribs or spine, becoming slower on walks (or even being reluctant to go out in the first place), excessive panting and a rounder face.
If you suspect your dog is overweight, speak to your vet and work with them to establish a diet plan. This will involve reducing feeding quanitities until your dog has reached the desired healthy weight. It will also involve restricting all treats and increasing exercise.
Written by: Hannah Dyball