Obesity in dogs

Obesity in Dogs

| January 28, 2022

Why do dogs become overweight?

Domesticated dogs do not need to be as active as their distant cousins and ancestors to find food. Instead they have you, their loving pet parent, to provide them with a delicious meal on a regular basis. Why bother to search for food when it magically appears in a convenient bowl? 

There is also the frequent practice of “free-feeding,” or providing constant access to kibble. While this might be a convenient way to feed your dog, overeating can lead to weight gain. 

Treats and “table food” are contributing factors as well. We know this can be a wonderful way to bond with your dog. Especially when they are giving you the puppy dog eyes. But in excess, these can contribute to obesity.  

Finally, because many premium diets are high in calories, your dog may be taking in more calories than they should.  

What can you do?

  • Measure how much you feed your dog each day using a measuring cup. Or, better yet, a gram scale.  
  • Use feeding toys to help burn calories and can be a lot of fun for your pooch.  
  • Feed your dog wet food – these diets are lower in calories than kibble and help dogs feel fuller.  
  • Get active! Playing fetch, going for a long walk or a doggie play date are all great ways to burn calories.  
  • Pick a weight loss diet and low-calorie treats – these are higher in fiber and lower in calories to help your dog feel full longer.  

If you think your dog might be obese, talk to your veterinarian about how to help them get fit. 

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