Is Your Dog Putting on the Pounds?
Weight gain can point to a few different issues for your dog, but the cause is often the same. Your dog might be consuming more calories than he is burning. The cause is usually overfeeding by the family, and the effects can be serious. It’s important that every family member knows the risk(s) of overfeeding.
Dogs, like people, can and should gain weight at certain times, like during puppyhood. But the best guide/sign/thing to watch for is changes in body condition.
The entire family needs to learn how to evaluate your dog's body condition and monitor it from puppyhood on.
Risks of Weight Gain
Extra weight can lead to other health problems. Learn more about problems associated with Obesity and ways to address them.
If you determine that your dog is too heavy, the cause is often overfeeding and/or lack of exercise. But there can be other causes, such as injury, illness, aging or changes in metabolism. These conditions might carry their own risks above and beyond weight gain. Stay constantly aware and check with your veterinarians if your dog is overweight!
How to Address Weight Gain
• Follow the guidelines on the Body Condition and Obesity articles, including eliminating table scraps, reducing treats, reducing the amount you feed, and increasing exercise.
• If you want to try a reduced calorie food, consult your veterinarian about the best course of action.
• If the weight gain is sudden, or if there is no clear cause, or if usual weight loss or maintenance practices don't seem to help, go to your veterinarian. There may be other conditions that need analysis.
• Consult your veterinarian if your dog has a sudden change in appetite, weight gain, or weight loss.
Your dog deserves to be treated with the utmost care. So pay close attention and invite all members of your family to help take care of him.