Obese Dog - Less is Better
Unless there are some underlying health conditions, an obese dog is usually the result of an uninformed, albeit a loving, dog owner giving too much food and not enough exercise. This can be remedied by providing a low fat diet for dogs. A change in diet for your dog is recommended but there is more than that to solve this human inflicted condition.
Usually the only reason for obesity in dogs is over feeding, often human snacks and lack of exercise.
Dog nutrition in the correct balance with regular, not necessarily excessive, exercise is sufficient to control your dog's weight and will contribute to overall well-being of your beloved pet.
Small dogs are particularly prone to this chronic situation usually as a result of a loving owner giving extra human snacks and not enough exercise, which may be due to an elderly owner unable to regularly exercise their constant companion. Animals in the wild are never obese as they eat what comes naturally which is not filled with fat and sugar as snacks, even premium dog food contains these ingredients to help with taste.
Our small dog breeds are in our kitchens, on our laps and wait anxiously for every morsel that come their way, loving them as we do, we can create a health issue which is risky for heart disease and diabetes besides shortening their lifespan.
Arthritic dogs suffer more when overweight, in fact the single most important factor in dealing with arthritic conditions in an adult dog is weight control.
Lowering their calorie intake is NOT a crash diet, as these simply don't work. A low fat diet for dogs is recommended as dogs like humans will regain the weight as soon as normal feeding resumes. Also there may be psychological stress on your beloved pet as he has no idea why he is being starved! A sudden lessening of food may also result in a lack of essential nutrients essential for a happy and healthy dog.
Caring for an older dog starts and ends with diet (and some extra soft bedding)! Dogs arthritis is almost entirely controlled with correct eating habits, weight control and appropriate exercise. If your dog is just 15% above his correct weight for his breed, he is clinically obese. You should be able to feel his ribs (not see them), you should also be able to note a definite waist.
Obese dogs have a shorter life expectancy than a dog with the correct weight for it's breed type. Cutting back on calories is the first option but some exercise is essential to assist our small dog breeds not just with weight control but also a greater enjoyment of life, just like us humans!
Some small dog breeds are genetically programmed to become obese! Pug Dogs are particularly prone to become an obese dog particularly as they age. These wonderful pets are not lovers of exercise and will quite happily live without exercise although most other small dogs do enjoy walking or some other activity. When choosing a dog it is recommended to think about the activity requirement of your small dog breed of choice that suits your lifestyle.
Exercise is good displacement behaviour. Whilst running and playing your dog is not thinking about eating. He is producing more serotonin in the brain which reduces appetites. So get walking. Dog walking not only extends your beloved pet's life but yours too!
However, if your dog is not overfed and is regularly excercsed then various dog health conditions need to be examined and eliminated as possible causes.
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