Carrying around extra weight is as big of a deal for your pet as it is for you-minus the impending swimsuit season of course. In fact, experts say that up to 60 percent of all adult dogs are overweight or likely to get that way due to age or activity level.
You might think that a couple of extra pounds on your pup isn’t a big deal, but you’d be wrong. An extra five pounds on a dog that should weigh 17 pounds is similar to an extra 50 pounds on a person who should weigh 170 pounds. Obesity is associated with heart and respiratory problems, diabetes, skeletal stress, and gastrointestinal disorders in pets.
Often our pets get a little pudgy because we love them so much. We love them, so we share our food with them. We love them, so we feed them whenever they look hungry. We love them, so we give them snacks or treats throughout the day. These nice but dangerous feeding habits can lead to extra pounds on your pet.
Weight problems can also go hand-in-hand with inactive lifestyles. Animals carrying a heavy load have an increased likelihood of tearing ligaments and wearing down joints. When their joints become damaged and painful, animals don’t want to exercise, which then adds to their weight problems. This is especially a problem with older dogs.
If you think your dog may be overweight, check with your veterinarian, who can give you advice on a proper diet and exercise program.