Obesity in Dogs – a serious problem
Obesity is a serious problem in dogs just as much as it is in humans. Similar as in people, obesity in dogs puts a strain on the whole body. Research has shown that overweight dogs have a shorter expected lifespan.
What symptoms are seen in obese dogs?
- Decreased stamina
- heat intolerance
- difficulties breathing
- bone, joints and ligaments problems due to carrying the extra weight
- heart problems
- decreased liver function
- elevated risk of cancer
- High-risk patients during anesthetic procedures
How does obesity start?
The weight gain happens when dogs take in more calories than they burn. There are many reasons for weight increase in dogs. We will guide you through the most obvious ones;
- First and most important is incorrect food calculation. Even though you stick to the advice given on the bag, this is often not related to a dog’s life in the UAE, and thus the amount should be adjusted to the correct portion for your dog. Our Vets & Nurses are happy to support you with this calculation.
- Second comes lack of exercise. Especially during the summer months in UAE, it is close to impossible for the dogs to get enough outdoor exercise. This lack of exercise immediately requires adjustment of the feeding portion for your dog, which is often forgotten. So adjust the amount per feeding and consider increasing the indoor training options for your dog. ABVC Kennels & Cattery regularly organize Free Play days and also have a Dog Day Care program. Soon we will even have a treadmill for our guests!
- Other factors can be related to aging, hormonal & reproductive status, breed predisposition and even breed color. Breeds prone to gaining weight are Labrador, Golden Retriever, English Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, Chihuahua, Rottweiler, and others.
If you think your dog is overweight, please bring her or him in for a check up and have her/him weighed. Our nurses will be able to help you with this, Free of charge, and can also give you tips on correct feeding portions or food choice. During the month of Movember we have a special promotion on weight loss diets for pets of 15% * (T&C apply)
Luckily it is in your hands to reduce and control your dog’s weight gain/ weight loss. Instead of showing your love for them by giving them extra treats and a full bowl of food, you can choose healthier options, fewer treats or exchange treats for food taken from his/her daily portion calculated. Longer walks, more playtime and fun games are a great experience for both, you and your dog.
So talk to your Veterinarian or Veterinary Nurse at Al Barsha Veterinary Clinic about selecting a suitable diet for your dog and calculate the amount of food per serving. The best will be to aim at reducing his/her weight by 1-2% of the starting weight, per week. It is critical to have all related pet food feeders aligned, so you all work towards the same goal.