Canine Obesity – the hidden risks

We all love making our dogs happy and food is a sure way to make those tails wag! 

Food can be medicine, a treat, a reward and a way to show your dog love. However, over half of dogs in Ireland, Britain and America are obese, this number is rising and associated ailments with it. Arthritis, heat stroke, diabetes and skin issues, are only a few associated ailments to name, but unfortunately all of them are increasingly common these days. 

As conscious canine guardians, we need to be aware of our dogs weight to keep them as healthy and happy as we can.

Why is it important for dogs to maintain their ideal weight? 

Inflammation and  obesity often go paw in paw. In dogs and humans alike, obesity is a leading factor in causing and exacerbating inflammation in joints and a contributor to diseases such as arthritis. Fat tissue is biologically active, it secretes inflammatory hormones and also creates oxidative stress on body tissue. 

Obesity can lead to other ailments such as urinary tract infections (UTI’s), pancreatitis, diabetes, heart disease, skin issues, low energy levels, depression and a range of orthopaedic issues. Obesity reduces your dog’s quality of life.

Obesity & life expectancy in dogs

A large, lifetime study of Labrador retrievers has found that being even moderately overweight can reduce a dog’s life expectancy by nearly two years*. Obesity shortens your dogs lifespan – lean dogs live longer!

My point of view – Prevention is much better than cure!

Why is my dog overweight?
There are several reasons why your dog may have excess weight. We summed some of the most common ones up:

  • Excess food consumption 
  • Lack of exercise
  • Inappropriate diet 
  • Weight gain after spaying or neutering
  • Genetic
  • Ailment related 
  • Old age

How you can help them
Our blog How to help your dog lose weight highlights the truth behind why dogs are becoming more and more obese in our modern culture.
Plus many new ways to support your dog to lose weight more easily, and naturally.

*Obesity, its associated disorders and the role of inflammatory adipokines in companion animals

**Risk factors associated with canine overweightness and obesity in an owner-reported survey.

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