Managing Your Dog's Weight Is Crucial
Obesity is a common concern for both humans and our furry friends. Canine obesity impacts dogs of all ages and types. In fact, with almost 53 percent of all dogs in the US being overweight, obesity is one of the most rapidly growing health issues affecting dogs today. Like us, dogs need to consume a balanced diet and the necessary amount of exercise to stay healthy. However, finding that balance isn't that easy. In this article, we will discuss why it's important to manage a dog's weight and what you can do to make sure your dog stays fit!
Why It's Important to Manage Dogs Weight?
Here are some reasons why it's crucial for you to manage your dog's weight.
1. Damaged Bones, Joints, and Ligaments
Obese dogs tend to develop chronic joint problems. If the bones and joints have to carry excess weight, they start to get damaged. This can ultimately lead to arthritis, and the pain associated with hip dysplasia can become more severe too.
Increased weight can also result in extra tension on joints which can damage certain ligaments. One ligament in the knee, known as the anterior cruciate ligament, is highly susceptible to tears and strains. If this ligament tears, the knee becomes highly unstable. Generally, surgery is needed to repair the ligament tear.
2. Potential Risk of Diabetes
Just like in humans, it isn't completely known why certain dogs develop diabetes. Certain canines might be more genetically prone to diabetes.
However, it is known that being obese or overweight can increase the risk of your canine developing this condition. This might be because being overweight causes the cells in your dog's body to become more insulin-resistant.
3. High Blood Pressure
Hypertension in obese dogs is an area that veterinary researchers have been interested in for the past 25 years or so. While there isn't a complete understanding of high blood pressure and obesity, researchers are moving close to a more comprehensive understanding.
Various studies have proven the connection between high-fat diets, obesity, and hypertension, particularly in canines. Many biomarkers and genes have been proposed as indicators as a number of triggers hypothesized, with minimal consensus currently. As of now, veterinarians have communicated that overweight canines are at higher risk of hypertension and should be checked regularly.
4. Reduced Life Expectancy
Eating less has been proven to increase life expectancy in various diverse species, including spiders, worms, fruit flies, water fleas, rats, mice, hamsters, fish, monkeys, and even dogs.
Longevity studies in canines have revealed that canines fed 25 percent fewer calories than normal and kept at a lean body mass, lived two years longer on average and experienced fewer medical conditions.
How to Maintain Your Dog's Weight?
If your canine is obese, there are a few things you can do to help them lose the extra pounds, including:
- Portion control
- Limiting snacks and treats
- Check with a vet.
There are the health conditions that stem from obesity that can impact almost every part of the body. Even without obvious signs, overweight dogs are at a higher risk of illness and disease.
Keep in mind that excess weight is easier to prevent than treat. Thus, when you manage a dog's weight it will help your dog stay happy and healthy and maximize its lifespan.
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