Fat dogs: overweight and obesity in dogs is a frequent, underestimated but very dangerous condition.

Cani grassi: obesità e patologie da sovrappeso | La Veterinaria
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Un cane obeso è esposto a patologie serie e gravi:

  • ridotta resistenza alla fatica
  • problemi di termoregolazione
  • stress cronico sulle articolazioni con aumento del rischio di osteoartrosi
  • riduzione dell’aspettativa di vita.

What is the difference between overweight and obesity?

Overweight and obesity are excessive accumulation of fat in the body.

A dog (as well as a cat) is considered overweight if its weight is 5-20% above the ideal weight.

Obesity is defined as exceeding ideal body weight by at least 20%.

Are there dog breeds predisposed to obesity?

There are predisposing genetic factors for obesity, and the most commonly affected breeds are: Retriever (Labrador, Golden), Beagle, Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, German Shepherd, and Terrier.

But to weigh in, literally, is lifestyle.

Weight gain in companion animals is caused by an imbalance between energy (caloric) intake and energy (calories) consumed and is mainly due to excessive food consumption combined with reduced physical activity.

Did you know that inadequate physical activity is one of the main causes of dog obesity?

The vast majority of obese or overweight dogs live in apartments.

Condemning a dog to a sedentary life is not only a form of mistreatment as it limits its social life development, but also endangers its health and reduces its quality of life.

Moreover, the situation is further aggravated if the dog is also overfed.

Obesity in the sedentary dog is also the consequence of poor eating habits

If you feed your pet meals on demand, if you allow him to eat your leftovers, if you bestow high-calorie cookies and snacks to gratify him or as often as he asks for them, if you use poor-quality food, don’t be surprised if your sedentary dog tends to gain weight with all the detrimental health consequences that could result.

Excess fat conditions dog longevity

When a dog is overweight, its life expectancy is reduced precisely because it is more prone to the diseases associated with its condition:

  • Diabetes
    : Dogs do not produce insulin as humans do, and an excess of food, and in particular carbohydrates, in which leftover human food (bread and pasta) are rich, puts dogs at risk of getting diabetes.

  • Arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders.
    : excess weight affects the osteoarticular system, so the dog will struggle to walk, run and move.

  • Heart disease
    : Just as in humans, excess weight fatigues the heart, which has to strain more than it should when it has to pump blood and carry it to the whole body.

  • Respiratory problems
    : The obese dog struggles to breathe, so it will also be possible to perceive his wheezing.

How can dog obesity be remedied?

The first step is to seek the advice of a veterinarian to assess the dog’s physical condition.

Then it is necessary to perform a thorough clinical examination to ascertain whether there are any diseases that may be a complication of obesity and to rule out any endocrine causes of the disorder.

Obesity therapy consists of changing the dog’s diet (specific low-fat diet and appropriate amount of food offered to the dog) and performing appropriate physical activity.

Exercise occupies an important place in the treatment of obesity

In addition to the effects exerted on energy expenditure, physical activity allows the owner and dog to share periods of time that are enjoyable and rewarding for both.

Your veterinarian will help you choose the most suitable food and show you the right diet plan to make your dog lose weight and maintain a constant shape-weight.

Things not to do at all when your dog is on a diet

If during the diet your dog begins to display pitiful starving attitudes, don’t let guilt get in the way and rather remember that you are acting for its own good.

No dog has ever died from giving up a cookie or a snack; however, more and more dogs are dying from overweight-related diseases.

  • Don’t give him your food (even if he looks at you imploringly from under the table)
  • Avoid off-meal treats
  • Don’t gratify it with food

Clinica La Veterinaria employs Veterinarians with expertise in Nutrition who are available to you for a consultation and personalized diet for your dog.

We would also like to remind you that Clinica La Veterinaria is always open, every day including holidays and with First Aid service from 8 pm to 8 am.

For the joy of seeing them HAPPY.

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