Canines and Obesity: What Every Pet Owner Should Know About an Overweight Dog

For some odd reason, chubby dogs have been perceived in the Western world as cuddly, cute, and downright adorable. Although a dog that has rolls of fats might be cute and cuddly, those fat rolls are actually doing terrible things to the canine’s health. Just as a dog owner should fully understand the link between DCM and pet food, awareness of excessive weight in dogs is crucial.

The Facts About Canine Obesity

Just as it’s becoming more common in humans, obesity is taking over the canine world. A lot of pet owners do not realize that obesity is actually a disease, but unlike a heart condition like DCM, this disease is almost always preventable. Unfortunately, a dog has very little control of its weight; preventing canine obesity is in the hands of the pet owner.

Obesity in canines most commonly happens for middle-aged dogs, but even puppies are experiencing a higher rate of obesity than ever before. Nobody knows exactly why this is happening, but the most accepted theory is that it is due to the increasingly inactive lifestyle led by humans. When a pet owner is inactive, it is very unlikely that the pet will receive the proper amount of exercise.

The Causes of Canine Obesity

The most common cause of obesity is an imbalance of energy intake and energy usage. In other words, an obese dog consumes too much food without burning off any calories. This is also the most common cause of humans; a human being that eats a Super Sized Big Mac must work in order to burn off those unnecessary calories.

How to Prevent Canine Obesity as a Pet Owner

So what can you do as a pet owner to keep your dog from taking in too many calories? The very first thing is to stop feeding your dog from the table. Human food is not meant for a dog’s body, so stop feeding the pup the same food that you’re eating for dinner. Not only can pizza and hot wings make your dog overweight, but this type of food can also cause major digestive issues.

Another thing that you can do as a pet owner to prevent obesity is giving your dog a set feeding schedule. Rather than leave a bowl of kibble out all day long, feed the dog at only certain hours of the day. This will keep your dog from overeating, and it is a much healthier alternative to constant food availability.

The last thing you can do for your dog to prevent obesity is GET ACTIVE. This is something you should be doing for yourself anyways, so bring your pup along for ride. Instead of going to the gym without your pooch, go for a walk in the neighborhood. This is a great way to get some fresh air as well. If your dog is able to be social with other canines, head to your local dog park with a Frisbee.

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