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Causes of obesity in dogs: why is he too fat?


Obesity in dogs is often played down. It can have devastating health consequences if four-legged friends are too fat. The main reason is that the dog eats too much food and moves too little. But how can this happen? Image: Shutterstock / B.Stefanov

A treat here, a piece of meat sausage there - little by little, such delicacies can lead to obesity in the dog. If your dog does not move enough, the food portion recommended for its breed, size and age can be too much in the long run. Read here what causes obesity in dogs and how you can prevent it.

Improper diet as the cause of obesity in the dog

The most common cause of too many pounds on the ribs is also an improper diet for our animal friend. Dog owners often feed too much energy, the four-legged friend cannot consume the total amount of calories consumed and becomes too fat. Every breed of dog and every age group has a different energy requirement - you should be well informed about this.

Follow the feeding recommendations on the food packs and ask your veterinarian for advice. Also consider additional treats that are fed. These are often forgotten when calculating the daily amount of calories. A balanced diet is particularly important in puppy age. Because dogs that were malnourished at a young age later suffer from being overweight.

Furthermore, puppies that are fed too much energy and nutrients may grow too quickly, making their bones and joints unstable. This increases the risk of later hip dysplasia (HD) or elbow dysplasia (ED).

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Dog is too fat: lack of exercise as the cause of obesity

The overweight in the dog is favored by too little exercise. The energy your dog takes in in the form of calories from the food must also be burned again in order to maintain a healthy weight. The dog's body stores all the calories that it does not consume as fat reserves. The following applies: small cattle also make crap. This means that if your dog eats only a little too much and moves only a little too little over a longer period of time, he will still gradually gain weight and will eventually become too fat.

Another problem with lack of exercise is that under-challenged dogs get bored quickly. How they react to this boredom varies from animal to animal. Some take the apartment apart, others discover eating as an activity. Obesity is inevitable.

For very active dog breeds like the husky, very high-energy food is usually recommended. If you follow the nutritional and portion size specifications exactly, but only go for an hour a day with your husky, it will increase. In order to avoid being overweight, you must also do dog sports with him and adapt the food exactly to his consumption. Your vet can help you with this.

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Other causes of obesity in the dog

Obesity in dogs can also be associated with certain diseases. These include, for example:

● Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
● Cushing's disease (malfunction of the adrenal gland and hypothalamus)
● joint problems (for example arthrosis, HD or ED)

The underactive thyroid gland means that your dog consumes fewer calories than a healthy member of the same age and size. If he is still fed like a healthy dog, this leads to weight gain.

The metabolic disorders in Cushing's disease make your dog tired on the one hand, so that he does not like to move as much. On the other hand, it increases appetite so that it eats more. Both in the combination cause overweight.

Osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia cause pain in the joints, which causes your dog to move less and gain weight. With age, dogs suffer more and more from joint pain, so that especially four-legged seniors often have to struggle with excess kilos.

Certain medications, such as those containing cortisone, can also cause obesity in the dog. A common risk factor for weight gain is also castration. Due to the lack of sex drive, neutered dogs are more comfortable than their uncastrated counterparts. They also often have an increased appetite.

Check your dog's weight regularly and note any changes. If you suspect that an illness could be behind the extra pounds, have the vet perform a cardiovascular check and a blood test. Caution! If you observe an unusual increase in weight in a specific part of the body that cannot be explained by malnutrition or lack of exercise, go to the vet as a precaution. There could be a tumor behind it.

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Which dog breeds are particularly prone to being overweight?

Some dog breeds are more prone to being overweight than others. The reasons for this lie, for example, in unfavorable body proportions - short legs, for example, restrict the ability to move - or a pronounced predisposition to gobbling. Because of their cute appearance, small dogs often tempt their owners to spoil them with treats. Since small dogs do not need so much energy, the extra treats are stored as fat pads.

Dog breeds with a tendency to be overweight due to physical characteristics include:

● Basset hound
● Dachshund
● English bulldog
● pug

These dog breeds are considered greedy:

● Beagle
● Golden Retriever
● Labrador retriever
● Rottweiler

Dog breeds that are often spoiled with food are:

● Cocker Spaniel
Yorkshire Terrier
● Chihuahua

Some dog breeds also have multiple risk factors for obesity. Pugs, for example, are both physically restricted and often victims of pampering.

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