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The ideal weight in dogs

enero 12, 2021

The ideal weight in dogs

According to statistics, one in three domestic dogs is overweight or obese. Erroneously, the accumulation of fat in the most critical areas is underestimated. As a rule, a fat dog exceeds the ideal weight by 5 – 20%. Over time, this condition can lead to serious health problems in the animal, including diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, heart disease, urinary tract stones, metabolic disorders, slipped discs (common in dachshunds), as well as significant breathing difficulties. On the other hand, even a lower than average weight causes a weakening of the immune system, reducing the dog’s life expectancy. The ideal weight is variable and is determined by some essential factors such as: race, fitness, age and sterilization status.

Overweight in dogs: frequent causes

Every domestic dog, of any breed and size, has an ideal weight which guarantees an excellent state of health and a good quality of life. Overweight negatively affects the animal’s mood and general well-being, significantly reducing its years of survival. Some factors have a significant impact on overweight or obesity. Among these stand out:

– an incorrect diet. Snacks and larger quantities of food or morsels are responsible for a dangerous weight gain. The owners, in a vain attempt to gratify, pamper and reward the dog for some feat, exceed the recommended doses, bringing the animal closer to bad habits.

– Reduced physical activity. Regular, daily motion contributes to developing limb muscles and fortifying bones. The dog must therefore be free to run around twice a day in large rooms, preferably in the open air.

– A high-calorie nutrition. Some foods are rich in salt and fats which improve the taste but trigger the animal’s hunger and gluttony.

– The race. Some dogs are genetically predisposed to weight gain and even worse to obesity. For these animals, more attention must be paid to the quantity and quality of the proposed food.

– The age. As for humans, over the years, even the metabolism of four-legged friends requires fewer calories, especially by virtue of low physical activity.

– Sterilization. The metabolism of a neutered domestic dog undergoes alterations for which the animal is more subject to weight gain.

Overweight dog: symptoms

From an accurate and periodic veterinary visit it is possible to check the general health of a domestic dog. However, some elements visible to the naked eye and tangible can help owners to assess whether they are overweight or the degree of obesity. In addition to the obvious weighting of the animal, it could be useful:

– feel the hips. The waistline lacks definition and during palpation it is difficult to locate the ribs.

– Assess the possible breathlessness. The dog moves with difficulty, breathing heavily.

– Observe the slowness of movements. The animal manifests laziness, a strong drowsiness and a lack of willingness to interact with its fellow creatures.

– Check if you need to loosen the collar or harness.

– Assess irritability. The animal does not seek cuddles, does not interact or play with the owner and with the other members of the family, rather showing annoyance and preferring solitude and tranquility.

– Observe the swelling of the base of the tail. The section between the bone and the skin is thicker and has a lot of fatty tissue.

– Noticeable swelling. Observing the dog from above, the back appears wider and the belly swollen.

How to make your dog recover the ideal weight

If the dog is suspected of being overweight or obese, it is advisable to immediately contact a good veterinarian who will assess the dog’s physical condition and the presence of any related diseases, as well as a program aimed at gradual weight loss. Absolutely avoid do-it-yourself diets, and for any change in diet, always contact the veterinarian, the only nutrition expert for dogs and any other animal. However, to help man’s faithful friend regain his ideal physical shape, owners can follow a few tips:

– power supply. Food plays a crucial role in regaining ideal weight. Therefore, you must opt ​​for high quality products, dry or wet, which have an excellent balance between proteins and fats, ensuring a good supply of nutrients.

– Motor activity. Agree with the veterinarian on a good program of physical exercises that will help the animal lose weight gradually, without stressing the joints and without exposing the body to shock due to the sudden change of daily habits.

– The administration of food. Puppies usually eat three times a day, while adult dogs will need to cut down on portions to two.

– The doses. To orient yourself on the quantities, always follow the instructions provided by the veterinarian and indicated on the back of the package.

– Avoid human food. Often mistakenly the food from the tables is shared with the dog. Human foods subjected to various cooking and flavoring are tasty and appetizing, but for Fido they represent a real danger, because they are very rich in salt and fats (of both animal and vegetable origin) that undermine the physical well-being of the animal.

– Limit the morsels. Very tasty, they alter the dog’s ideal weight. Therefore, eliminate them from the diet or in any case reduce their quantities, proposing them only in completely exceptional cases.

– Take daily walks. Have the dog walk or run in an open and preferably green area at least twice a day.

– Don’t indulge whims. To return to its ideal weight, the dog will have to gradually undergo a change in diet. The change will not be welcomed. The animal will hardly accept the new food, refusing to eat even for several days. At this stage, the owner must keep the fist still. Therefore, when the dog cannot take it anymore and is hungry, it will approach the bowl by itself. If not, consult your veterinarian again.