Obesity is one of the most common health problems I see in my canine patients. Fido is certainly a wonderful pet, who deserve to be loved and pampered. However, overfeeding your pooch isn’t really the best way to spoil him. In fact, this can be very bad for your furry pal’s health! As your Marion, IA vet, I see a lot of pudgy pets. I discuss doggy obesity in this article.
Obesity carries many of the same risks for dogs as it does for people. If your dog is obese, he’ll be at elevated risk of developing some very dangerous health problems, such as heart disease, respiratory issues, diabetes, and liver and kidney trouble. Those extra pounds will put additional stress on your pet’s bones and joints, which increases the risk of him developing painful conditions like arthritis. Fido will also be more likely to develop skin problems, reproductive issues, and even certain cancers.
Fido’s workout will definitely have an effect on his weight. Every pooch has their own unique activity needs, however, so you’ll want to ask your vet for specific advice. Some dogs need an hour of vigorous exercise daily, while others do fine with just a daily walk around the block. If your pet has more energy than you do, keep him moving by playing games like Fetch, which keep your dog running around while you stay in one spot. Mechanical ball launchers and automated laser pointers can also be good in these cases.
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that Fido has a good appetite. Your pooch will probably eat pretty much anything and everything he can reach, and will then shamelessly beg for part of your dinner. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including serving sizes and suitable treats. Use those guidelines—not your pet’s sad puppy dog eyes—as a guide for your pup’s menu. If you absolutely can’t resist that soulful stare, give him something healthy, like a carrot stick.
Helping Fido Lose Weight
If you know or suspect that Fido needs to lose weight, ask your vet for specific advice. Your four-legged friend will need to drop those pounds slowly in order to lose weight without compromising his health.
Is your canine companion getting a bit round? Do you have questions about your pet’s diet? Call me, your Marion, IA veterinarian, today!