Everyone knows that their dog should not be fat and that this is bad for their health, but few owners know why specifically obesity hurts their dog’s health. Obesity is hard on your dog’s organs and their physical well-being. It can also be tough on their emotional well-being if they want to play and have fun, but they are too fat to do so.
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is important for their overall well-being, but it can also help ensure that they get to enjoy a full lifespan. Dogs who are obese usually have shorter lifespans than dogs that are kept at a healthy weight their whole life.
Dogs that are young and obese can be at risk for getting arthritis earlier than usual, and older dogs who already have arthritis might be suffering additional pain due to their weight. Dogs that are very fat are typically suffering from inflammation throughout their body, and this can make arthritis much more painful. The added weight will also make it harder for your dog to get around, which can make the speed of arthritic deterioration much faster.
Arthritis is already degenerative, and you need to be sure that you are not making your dog’s joint health worse just because they are overweight. You can do a few things to treat dog arthritis, but there is a limit to how much you can do to make arthritis bearable. If your dog is overweight, you might be making their joints much more unstable and inflamed than necessary.
Pets that are overweight can be at increased risk for diabetes. This condition can be managed just through losing weight in some cases, just like in humans. You might be able to return your pet to full health if you are able to get their weight down before they have advanced diabetes. However, if your dog has been overweight for a very long time, you might have to treat them for diabetes for the rest of their life.
Pets with diabetes will usually have a shorter lifespan than pets that do not have to deal with this condition. The more years that your pet suffers from diabetes, the more secondary health issues they will likely also have to contend with.
3. Organ Damage
Being overweight can be hard on your dog’s heart, their lungs, their kidneys, and their liver. You should be aware that the organ damage that might be done on a daily basis related to your dog’s weight cannot always be reversed. Organ damage can lead to other major health conditions that could have been avoided if your dog was not so overweight.
You might have noticed that your overweight dog is panting a lot when they try to get around. This is a sign that the organs are under strain, and you should consider this a warning that you need to do something about your dog’s weight right away. The longer that your dog has to pack around lots of extra weight, the more likely it will be that they suffer long-term harm to their organs.
Dogs who are overweight can sometimes be very depressed because they cannot enjoy the same activities that their companions are enjoying or because they get too tired to play. If your dog is struggling to just get around due to their weight, you can count on them being somewhat depressed overall. Some animals have trouble breathing when they are lying down due to their weight, and they might become aggressive due to being in pain because of the excess weight they are packing around.
Depression and personality changes are quite common in animals that are overweight. You will want to spare your pet this kind of anxiety and misery by making sure that you keep their weight down.
How Can I Get My Pet Back to a Healthy Weight?
It can be hard to see your pet begging and looking like they think they are very hungry, but you need to be stronger than the desire to feed them all the time. Dogs that are overweight need to go on a weight management food and be asked to exercise gently more often. Stick to what your veterinarian recommends as far as portion size for your dog that is losing weight. If you are able to get their weight down and their exercise level up, they might be able to go back on normal food or have increased rations.
The key thing that you need to avoid when helping your dog lose weight are fatty foods that are not for dogs and lots of treats. Your dog should get everything that they need in their diet from their kibble, so other food is just added calories that they don’t need. Fatty and sugary foods can also lead to your dog getting pancreatitis, which can be deadly.
Keeping Your Pet Healthy Requires Keeping Their Weight Down
When you keep your dog’s weight down, you will be helping them to live a full lifespan, to be more comfortable, and to be happier and more fit. Your pet might think that they want to eat lots of treats and snacks, but they will feel much better if they are not fed foods that they should not be eating. Keeping your dog from getting diabetes, heart conditions, and organ problems are important as well.
Keeping your dog within a healthy weight, as shown in a healthy weight chart, can be as simple as making sure you don’t feed people food or snacks to your dog and keep them busy being active. If your dog is overweight, you will need to start out slowly and make sure that you keep in mind that they will get tired easily at first.
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