The Facts on Dog Obesity


Reports indicate that between 30% and 60% of all dogs are overweight so it is more important than ever we keep our hounds happy and healthy. One of the most serious findings in obesity studies that has been proven to be related to being overweight in both humans and dogs is a reduced lifespan. An overweight dog is more likely to die younger than a dog of normal weight.

Certain breeds are more predisposed to weight gain and need to be monitored more closely. These include Labrador Retrievers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles to name but a few. However, any breed or cross breed may have a tendency to gain weight given the opportunity. The role that genetic factors play in the development of obesity is not fully understood yet.

The following issues will impact on a dog's weight:

Other causes of obesity

  • Gender: Females are more prone to weight gain.
  • Neutering: This can lead to a tendency towards weight gain.

What risks are involved with having an overweight dog?

The risks are multiple and an overweight dog may suffer from some or all of the conditions listed below:

  • Joint disease 
  • Heart and lung problems 
  • Diabetes 
  • Tumours 
  • Liver disease 
  • Reduced Lifespan 
  • Exercise intolerance 

The important thing to remember is that many of the problems associated with being overweight are reversible. Increasing exercise tolerance increases the calories burned which in turn reduces weight which leads to better exercise tolerance and so on.

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