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The Dangers of Obesity in Dogs

Is your dog overweight? You may think Fido looks cute with a bit of extra padding, but don’t be fooled into thinking those extra pounds are harmless. Being overweight can cause severe problems with your furry buddy’s health down the road. Here, your veterinarian Hutchinson Island goes over some of the risks of obesity in dogs.

Bone/Ligament Issues

Those extra pounds can put a lot more stress on your canine pal’s fragile bones and the ligaments and tendons that bind them together. Conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia can also be greatly aggravated by obesity.

Respiratory Function

Extra weight puts more stress on all your dog’s internal organs, and the lungs are no exception. Fido may lose his breath more easily when running or playing if he is overweight.

Diabetes

Overweight dogs are much more likely to develop diabetes, specifically Type 2 diabetes.

Heart Disease

Extra weight translates into extra strain on your pup’s heart. Obesity can also contribute to high blood pressure, which is as dangerous for dogs as it is for people.

Life Expectancy

The sad truth is that being overweight can shorten your canine buddy’s life expectancy. It can also affect his quality of life. If Fido struggles to get into the car, or loses his breath when playing, he won’t get as much enjoyment out of car rides or trips to the dog park.

These are just a few of the ways obesity can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Other risks include osteoarthritis, liver problems, kidney disease, and even cancer. To keep Fido at a healthy weight, feed a balanced diet that is appropriate for his age and species. Keep an eye on portions, and don’t be a complete pushover when Fido begs.

Making sure Fido gets enough exercise is another key factor to keeping him at a healthy weight. If you aren’t up to long walks or hikes, you can still exercise him without wearing yourself out. Playing fetch will keep Fido running back and forth while you stand still. You can also use a laser pointer toy to keep him occupied. Just don’t shine it in his eyes. Another option is to play ‘stair fetch’, which is where you stand at the top of the stairs and toss something down to him, so he runs it up to you. A few short sessions a day will add up quickly.

If you have any questions about your dog’s dietary or nutritional needs, or his exercise regimen, please do not hesitate to contact us. As your vet clinic Hutchinson Island, we are here to help. To read more pet care articles, please click here.

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