Dogs become overweight when they consume more calories than they can burn. The unused calories are stored in the form of fats in the body. The number of dog’s fat cells can be determined when the dog is still young. Each cell can change in size, depending on the number of fats stored within the cell.
Once the fat cells are formed, they remain permanent. For this reason, dogs that become overweight at a younger age may experience trouble when it comes to losing weight later in life. This increases the risk of obesity. It is, therefore, crucial that you check your dog’s calorie intake when it is still young.
Could there be a Medical Cause for My Dog’s Overweight?
Yes, obesity in dogs may sometimes as a result of an underlying medical condition. The most common medical cause of obesity in dogs is hypothyroidism. If hypothyroidism disorder is not treated, your dog will have difficulties losing weight. It can also cause other hypothyroidism related disorders.
Can My Dog Be Predisposed to Obesity?
Various non-medical factors have been shown to predispose dogs to obesity. Some of these factors include competition for food, free-fed diet, old age, early-onset obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Female dogs are more prone to obesity than male dogs. Genetic can also be a cause of obesity.
Are there any Health Risks of Overweight?
Overweight dogs are at a risk of health problems. These risks include but are not limited to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, arthritic disorders, immune suspension, orthopedic, and some forms of cancer.
Are there Benefits of Weight Reduction in Dogs?
Reduction in weight will help improve the quality of your dog’s life for various reasons. It will reduce the stress on joints, especially to dogs with arthritis, improve cardiovascular functions, and promote athleticism. Also, all factors being constant, dogs that maintain average body weight lives longer than obese dogs.
What Can I Do to Help My Dog Lose Weight?
To help your dog lose weight, ensure all underlying medical issues are addressed. If your dog has no underlying medical condition, then the key to losing weight is governed by going back to the fundamental aspect of losing weight.
This means that your dog must burn more calories than it consumes. The goal of losing weight is to lose fat while retaining lean muscle mass. To do this, you should modify the way you feed your dog, reduce the number of calorie intake, and engage your dog in physical exercises.
How Many exercises are suitable for My Dog?
For your dog to lose weight more naturally, you should take an active role in exercising it. If your dog is not used to exercise, then you should gradually introduce it to activities. Start exercising it for 10 minutes a day and increase the time gradually until you reach at least forty-five minutes daily.
This will help your dog expend energy, increase its metabolic rate while retaining its lean body mass. Dog exercises may consist of playing ball, walking, swimming, or any other activity.
How Should I Change my Feeding Plan?
To avoid overfeeding your dog, ensure all meals are served in your dog’s bowl. Also, separate your dog from areas where it can easily access food. This will eliminate the temptation of giving your dog more food.
Also, separate your dog from other animals so that it can reduce the eating competition. Typically, you should feed your dog two or three meals a day to reduce hunger. The meals should be in small quantities.
How Can I Get My Dog To Consume Few Number of Calories?
To ensure your dog reduces the number of calorie intake, cut down on snacks and other food items that contain a high level of calories. Also, if you feed your dog with treats, use them sparingly. If your dog feeds on treats, then you should reduce the dog’s regular meals.
This reduction will help to compensate for the extra calories consumed. If you are facing a challenge in measuring the number of calories for your dog, you can give it food like Calorie Control by Royal Canin.
How Long Will it Take for My Dog to Lose Weight?
Each dog will take a different timeline to lose weight. The exact time it will take for your dog will be determined by how much weight you want your dog to lose. Ideally, if all other factors remain constant, a dog can safely lose about 4% of its body weight per week.
This should continue until the desired weight is achieved. Have your dog checked and weighed after every two or three weeks.