Excess weight, even obesity, It is a very frequent problem among pets, who increasingly lead a more sedentary life and eat worse. How do I know if my dog is overweight? We teach you how to detect if your hairy has a few kilos left over and solve the problem so that he stays as healthy as possible.
My dog is overweight, what can I do?
Unless your dog has a very obvious obesity, Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether or not you have a healthy weight. It will be a little easier if you have a dog breed, since these an average weight range (minimum and maximum) has been determined to control canine health.
What does a dog's weight depend on? We cannot establish an ideal certain weight for all dogs, since all are different. Your weight will depend on your height, your musculature and bone structure. Do you want to check if your dog's weight is appropriate? Focus on the following:
- Hips: Pass your hands over your dog's hindquarters and check your hips. In a dog with adequate weight, you will feel a sinking between the end of the ribs and the hip, without exerting pressure.
- Ribs: Run your fingers through your dog's ribs. If you are able to notice them well defined> (Photo via: anipedia)
If my dog is overweight, is his health at risk? Sure. Of course, Depending on the level of overweight or obesity, the risk is lower or higherbut a little overweight can be the beginning of many health problems if no solution is given. For example:
- Obese dogs are at greater risk of illness such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, respiratory diseases and even behavioral problems.
- Ligaments and joints suffer when they have to bear more weight than they should, which can lead to greater wear and even physical injuries. It has been observed that the number of cases of hip dysplasia has increased along with canine obesity.
- The obesity prevents walking and playing normally, so a rewarding experience will become something unpleasant, undermining the mood and quality of life of your dog.
- Excess weight can shorten your life expectancy, not only because of the risk of developing diseases, but also because of premature tissue aging.
For all this, it is very important to prevent excess dog in our pets.
Why is my dog overweight?
Has it been confirmed that your dog is overweight and you wonder how he got there? The factors that most influence the weight gain of domestic dogs are:
- The lifestyle: today, in domestic life, Dogs are much more sedentary than in the past and do less physical exercise. In addition, their diet has changed, they eat more fats. Within this fact, we find a few important data:
- On average, Dogs do less than half an hour of exercise each day. It depends on each dog, but usually it should be more.
– Dogs that live with more dogs in the home eat more Than those who are unique pet.
- Beware of giving the dog your leftovers! Dogs should not eat our food, since it has salt, fats and other components that do NOT need. It causes obesity and other problems.
- If you leave your dog the food available 24 hours, you may gain more weight. Ideally, teach him to eat at certain times and remove the plate when finished, controlling the amounts.
- The race: Small races are more vulnerable to being overweight, since they tend to eat more than they burn with exercise.
- The sex and age of the dogs: special attention must be paid to the feeding of dogsfrom 7 years of age, since they gain weight more easily. In addition, sterilized dogs and bitches are also more likely to gain weight due to the change in metabolism involved in this operation.
- Hypothyroidism, a fairly common disease among dogs.
If you suspect your dog is overweight, you should go to the vet as soon as possible. If you confirm it, they can give you personalized advice about the food and lifestyle that best suits your pet. Try a healthy life for your dog!
1. Is my dog or cat too thin?
"The easiest way to recognize the amount of body fat in dogs and cats is through the hand scan", explains veterinarian Manuel Lázaro. To do this, we must palpate the chest and abdomen of our furry friend, in order to roughly determine the fat that accumulates. Or, on the contrary, which he lacks.
This drawing by veterinarians at the University of Ohio is a good help to recognize a dog or cat too thin.
The ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones are recognizable to the naked eye. There is also obvious absence of muscle mass.
Remember that extreme thinness of dogs and cats is a serious health problem, which needs veterinary control. Here is a guide to feed a very thin dog.
4. Chubby dogs and cats: overweight
More than half of urban cats and dogs are overweight or obese, according to the Association for the Prevention of Obesity in Pets. The poor diet, or its excess, together with a reduced physical activity are behind these extra kilos that can compromise the health of our furry friends.
But how to recognize overweight in dogs and cats? The body is rounded and it is no longer so easy to palpate its ribs. Fat deposits are recognizable in the lumbar spine and tail base. The abdomen begins to hang.
5. Obese cats and dogs: their health in danger
Overweight in a dog or cat is called obesity when the animal's body weight exceeds at least 20% its appropriate size depending on its breed, sex and age. But how to recognize it?
The chest of an obese animal widens, due to the accumulation of fat. The same goes for the spine and base of the tail. The waist disappears and the abdomen hangs. There are also fat deposits in the neck and extremities.
Obesity in dogs and cats is also a health problem, which needs veterinary control and must be prevented and stopped, the sooner the better.
Have you finished reading the article and still have doubts about at what level to place the figure of your dog or cat? This interactive application will let you know if your cat or dog is thin or overweight. Simply choose the animal and move the cursor to draw the approximate figure of your furry companion.
You can read more articles about cat feeding here. Follow the author on Twitter @evasanmartinf.