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Overweight Dogs

Is your dog too fat?

Overweight dogs are as much a problem as overweight people. As in humans, obesity in dogs is detrimental to their health. One estimate says that approximately 25% to 40% of the dogs in this country are seriously overweight. The problem becomes more acute as both the dogs and the owners get older.


As the owner ages, they may be less inclined to exercise their overweight dogs. They also are more prone to physical ailments that keep them from giving their dogs the exercise their dogs need to keep them trim. And then there are the gyms that people will go to, to get their exercise, but forget that their dog needs exercise also. Some dog lovers equate treats for their dog with love for their dog. Lots of love means lots of treats which can lead to an overweight dog.


As the dog gets older, it tends to slow down and doesn't run as much as it used to. It is content to just lay around and grudgingly go out if it has to. It also can become physically impaired which makes exercise less pleasant than it used to be. Female dogs are more likely to become obese than male dogs, and spayed and neutered dogs are more likely to become overweight than those with their reproductive organs intact.


If all this happens, but the feeding, especially if they get high calorie treats from the table, stays the same, the dogs will gain weight, just like people do. Some breeds are more prone to being overweight than others. Beagles, cocker spaniels, pugs, dachshunds, collies and labrador retrievers are breeds that are known for their propensity to become overweight. Dogs can start to gain weight in middle age or around 5 years old. And, if they are overweight by then, it's only going to get worse.


It turns out that dog owners who are over 40 years old are at least twice as likely to have overweight dogs as those under 40, and a third of these dog owners think their overweight dogs have normal weight for the breed. Since their are a lot of dog owners who don't think their own obesity is a problem, they obviously don't think their overweight dog has a problem either.


Overweight dogs have added stresses on their bodies and are at a higher risk of diabetes, liver and kidney ailments, lung and heart problems, and joint pain.


If you have a severely overweight dog, the first thing you should probably do is have your vet give him a checkup. The vet can give you advise on how to get your dog back into shape. If you think your dog is just a little chubbier than he should be, there are a few things you can, and probably should, do.


  1. If you feed your dog high calorie treats from the table, cut way down or eliminate it from his diet. You're going to have to keep from giving in to his pleading eyes, but after awhile you'll both get over it. 
  2. Most brands of dog food make one that is for overweight dogs. If you change to a low calorie dog food, introduce it slowly by first mixing it in with his normal food. A sudden change of food sometimes will give dogs diarrhea. 
  3. Start giving your dog more exercise. If you haven't been exercising your dog at all, start slowly and slowly build it up. And make sure your dog has plenty of water, especially if you go out on a hot day. 

 An overweight dog is an unhealthy dog. Keep your dog healthy and you'll both be happier.


To find out more on how to keep your dog in the peak of health, go to:  Health


For food supliments that can help keep your dog healthy go to:



A trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner.

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