Benefits of Maintaining a Healthy Weight for Your Dog
Pet obesity is at an all-time high, with an estimated 53% of America’s dogs registering at least 20% overweight. While many pet owners do not think much of their dog carrying a few extra pounds, the truth is that an animal’s quality of life, as well as its lifespan, decreases as weight increases. Listed below are just a handful of benefits that maintaining a healthy weight for your dog can provide.
An alarming study showed that obese dogs may live up to 3 year less than their littermates who maintained a healthy weight. If no other reason compels an owner to keep their pet’s weight in check, this should be it!
Fewer Health Problems
Dogs that are overweight have a drastically increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, kidney and liver failure, arthritis, as well as certain types of cancer. Dogs that maintain an appropriate weight are less likely to be afflicted by these diseases.
Lower Veterinary Bills
A dog that maintains a healthy weight will generally require fewer veterinary visits over the course of its lifetime, saving the owner money in the long term.
Less Risk under Anesthesia
An overweight pet is far more likely to suffer serious side effects under anesthesia, such as cardiac arrest. Routine procedures like dental cleanings have more associated risks with each additional pound of body fat a dog carries, especially for breeds that are already prone to heart issues, such as Boxers or Great Danes.
Lower Food Bills
A main reason that pets are overweight is because owners do not feed appropriate portion sizes. By feeding the proper amount of food your dog requires, owners can slash 10 – 20% from their dog food bill!
Dogs that maintain a healthy weight will have more energy to romp and play with their owners or playmates, with less risk of injury. Overweight dogs are more likely to develop habits of lethargy, excessive sleeping, and reduced interest in fun activities.
Less Joint Pain
An overweight dog will place more stress on his or her joints, which will lead to the early onset of serious disorders such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. For a dog already afflicted with joint pain, the additional weight can make excruciating pain even worse. When a healthy weight is maintained, joint problems are more likely to be delayed until later in the dog’s life with less serious side effects.
Fewer Skin Problems
Overweight dogs have worse circulation than lean animals, which can lead to dandruff, skin allergies, and an unhealthy skin and coat. Dogs that are overweight are also more likely to develop food and environmental allergies.
Being overweight is not natural for canines. While dogs will happily overeat due to their evolution as scavengers who are used to feast or famine, no dog would choose to live a life where going for walks or romps in the park leaves them panting, wheezing or prone to injury. A happy dog is a healthy dog, and keeping your pet at the proper weight will lead to a lifetime of happiness.
I started newdogowners.com for one simple reason, to help prepare new dog owners for owning a new puppy. My goal is to help stop the passing around of dogs. The forever home, should be a dog's first home.
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