Does your lie around all day and can’t even jog a mile before he gets tired? Does he hate walk-times and any form of exercise? Is he one who love his treats even more than he does his weight-loss dog food? Chances are that he’s getting overweight and something needs to be done fast.
But what can be done?
You obviously cannot starve him because that will kill him. You also cannot force him to exercise because he might faint due to all the weight he’s carrying. What you can do is to get him weight-loss dog food.
Table of Contents
How Do I Know My Dog Is Overweight?
Great question. Sometimes it’s difficult for dog owners to realize when they’re dog has crossed the line into being overweight, don’t be scared, you’re not the only one with questions. However, you can relax and sit tight because we have all the answers you seek.
There are two major ways you can determine whether or not your dog is overweight.
Here’s one way…
Go online and search for your dog’s breed type. You will most likely find different pictures of what your ideal breed should look like at his age, what is overweight and what is underweight.
These pictures should include different numbers or identifiers. These numbers, mostly in the range 1-5, will tell you whether your dog is skinny, fit, or fat, and how problematic it might be.
The second method by which you can tell if your pooch is overweight is the method proposed by Dr. Dobies. Dr. Dobies pushes his method of assessment as thus:
Stand over your dog and look down on him, now feel his sides.
- If you can see his ribs, he’s too skinny.
- Can you feel his ribs but cannot see them? He’s good to go.
- If you cannot feel the ribs at all, move your hand slightly higher and feel the sides of their chest. If you still cannot feel their ribs, they’re overweight.
Now that you can successfully tell and you have found out that your dog is overweight, you need to do something about it and fast.
What Are The Dangers To My Dog If He’s Overweight?
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) says that 54% of dogs in America are overweight. Simply put, for every 2 dogs you see, one is probably overweight.
Now, your dog being overweight might not look like such a big deal to you, especially if you think in the direction of “if he doesn’t like it, he’ll complain”. Well, maybe he’s complaining in the best ways he knows how to, but you’re not listening.
Not doing anything about your dog’s overweight is the wrong option. Cos a lot of bad things will leave you wishing and wishing and wishing you didn’t (in Drake’s voice), but this time it will be your plan, not God’s.
Change your plan because if you don’t, you risk your dog the following health dangers…
Health Risks Your Dog Is Prone To If He Is Overweight
Lol, you read right. Although this isn’t very common, there are a few dog breeds that would literally eat more than enough that can kill them. One of the few breeds is the Beagle and it’s no surprise that the most overweight dog on record is a Beagle.
While a dog eating himself to death is quite rare, the other things listed below might also lead to death if not taken care of on time. It is also important to note that overweight dogs have a shorter life span according to Dr. Ward @hillspet.com.
Osteoarthritis can be defined as the swelling of joints directly caused by a deterioration in the cartilage around joints. Although, osteoarthritis is a genetic disease and primarily cannot be prevented, a proper weight-loss dog food diet will go a long way to improve the quality of life your diagnosed dog lives.
Yes, diabetes affects dogs too. It happens just like in humans where the pancreas produces a lot less insulin than the body requires to break down sugar. If your dog is overweight, more times than not, he’s taking in a lot of sugar. And if it so happens that his pancreas is producing little insulin, well, bad news.
Heart And Respiratory Disease
If there is a coagulation of fat in your pup’s airways, chances are they’re going to get blocked and he is bound to have respiratory issues or heart issues.
Other diseases overweight dogs are prone to include:
- Kidney Disease.
The fact that your dog is overweight doesn’t necessarily mean he has gotten to the stage of obesity yet. Although, it sure as heck means he’s on his way there if care is not taken.
However, if your dog has already been diagnosed with obesity, then it is a whole new world.
Obesity in Dogs
Definition according to Wikipedia, obesity is a medical condition that occurs when so much body fat has been accumulated in the body of the host that it becomes a health hazard.
Causes Of Obesity In Dogs
- Overfeeding– Most of the time, dog owners are more careful about the kibble they give their pooch when, in fact, what they should be worried about overfeeding their dog are treats.
You can be careful enough not to overfeed your dog dog-food, but what about the remnants you give him from the table? What about the treats that neighbors who come into the house love to give him? Do you account for that too?
- Little Or No Exercise– Dogs like people need as much exercise as they can get. When your dog becomes a couch potato, beware, obesity is around the corner.
- Obesity can also occur when you as the owner do not recognize when your dog is becoming overweight.
Physiology and Morphology
- Age– the older a pooch gets, the more likely he is to become obese because at that age, bones are weak and exercise is reduced.
- Morphology– this basically has to do with the fact that the morphology of some breeds predisposes them to obesity than others. An example of this breed is the Beagle.
- Neutering– According to Wikipedia, neutering is the surgical procedure that removes an animal’s reproductive organ either in part or in full. Dogs who undergo this surgery have reduced sexual hormones which in turn decreases the amount of energy spent and causes increased hunger.
- Anticonvulsants decrease satiety thereby making infected dogs overeat.
- Glucocorticoids sometimes lead to weight gain.
These three diseases contribute to weight gain:
Symptoms Of Obesity in Dogs
- Increase in size and weight gain (well, obviously).
- Excessive body fats.
- Apathy shown towards exercise.
- A score that is above-ideal in body condition assessment tests.
How is Obesity Diagnosed in Dogs?
Basically, obesity is diagnosed either by measuring your dog’s weight or scoring his body conditions. These results are then compared by your vet with what is normal for your dog’s breed type.
To show that your dog is obese, the result of his test should be at least 10-15% higher than your dog breed standard. Meanwhile, if your vet using a 9-point scoring system, anything above 7 equals obesity.
My Dog Is Obese, What Do I Do?
Has your veterinary doctor told you that your dog is obese but you don’t know how to help him? Well isn’t that why we’re here? You can calm down now cos we bring you the most efficient and effective treatment to obesity in dogs.
There are two major key things when it comes to losing weight for any animal at all, including humans. These two key things are:
Looks simple right? Without further ado, let’s get into it
Research has shown that pet owners who play with their dogs more often are less likely to have obese dogs than owners who do not.
Get active with your dog. Find the exercise and play that your dog loves to do and engage him frequently in that activity. Get him the toys he loves also, so he can play without you being there.
We know that finding exercise that your dog would like might be quite the hassle. So, below, we show you a table of popular breeds together with activities and toys they enjoy.
|Breed||Mindset||Activity they enjoy|
|Hunting breeds. E.g. Poodles, retrievers etc.||Retrieval||Fetch, hiking, running|
|Hounds: Beagles, bassets||Tracking||Fetch, Chase|
|Herders: Shepherds, Heelers||Protecting livestock||Agility, herding, disc throwing|
|Terriers||Pest Control||Digging, obedience|
|Toys: Chihuahua, Maltese||Human companion||Toys, tricks|
If your dog is obese, he might need sometime to get accustomed to exercise routine and also to build stamina. It is also advisable to take him to dog parks where he can socialize and play with other dogs, killing two birds with one stone.
When it comes to dieting, there are majorly three key factors:
- Feeding: that is the what and what you feed your dog.
- Treating: the treats you give him.
- Miscellaneous: the other foods he gets from different sources, probably from the dinning table or treats from visitors.
If your dog is obese, we advise you let go of the third one totally. Don’t let visitors feed him treats and of course train him to leave the table area when you’re about to eat. In doing this, you are able to completely regulate his calorie intake and chances of him losing weight are higher.
Now to the actual food you give him, this is what majorly determines if your dog becomes obese or not. If your dog is obese, you need to start giving him some weight-loss dog food. Weight-loss dog food, enables you give him enough kibble that satisfies him for the period, but at the same time keeps him from getting too fat.
Three factors Dr. Spectors says you should consider when looking to get weight-loss dog food are:
- Protein must be above average.
- Calorie-count must be below average.
The weight-loss dog food must contain fats that are below average.
There are two main types of weight-loss dog food diets out there.
Commercial Weight-loss Dog Food Diet
To calculate how much fat is in commercial food, you’ll need to find out about it’s kcal/kg. Now, if the information you’re looking for is not present on the pack of the food, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer and ask.
You’ll need to look for diets that are low in fats but also high in protein because you need that for building up muscles in your dog. Also, diets low in protein can in the long run, cause pancreatitis which isn’t a problem you want to be treating side by side obesity.
Weight-loss dog food is not the sweetest in the bunch. If your pup is unwilling and unenthusiastic about eating his weight-loss dog food, you might want to try mixing it together with some medium-fat fresh or canned food.
Home-Made Weight-loss Dog Food
If you want to track your pups’ calories to the unit, you might consider making the weight-loss dog food yourself. Also, this is very helpful if you’re low on cash and your dog is obese.
To make home-made weight-loss dog food and diet, you’ll need carbs, low-fat raw meat, dairy and eggs. The meats used should be boiled to remove excess fat in them.
Majorly, the carbs used should be foods containing starch like pasta, rice, potatoes and so on, because they produce calories and are low in fat. Also, a lot of vegetables should be added to the diet. Vegetables like summer squash, broccoli and greens are very healthy. These weight-loss carbs and greens should contain about 50% of the diet.
The other 50% aside carbs and greens should comprise majorly meat containing low fat, more preferably cooked meat. This preference is due to the fact that cooking removes a lot of the fat.
Meat contained in the breasts of skinless chickens are considered really low in fats. Also, if you want to feed chicken, make sure to remove visible fat and peel skin. Other sources of meat can be, goat, buffalo, rabbit, which are considered weight-loss meats. You should stay clear of pork and lamb meat which contain a lot of fat.
Diets should be included with meats from the organ of other animals. Most organs like liver and heart, contain low fats.
Eggs, although containing high fats, are very healthy. And because of that, they could be added to your dog’s weight-loss food diet. Most of the fats in a whole egg are contained in the egg yolk so in extreme cases, only egg whites should be fed to your dog. This is because only egg white increases the protein in the diet but not the fat.
Hard boiling the egg is a more preferred option if you want to feed them only the egg whites. This is because continuously feeding egg whites raw without the accompanying yolks depletes biotin.
Non-fat dairy foodstuff is really healthy and should be put into the diet. Dairy products generally are sweet, and in your weight-loss dog food diet, can serve as healthy replacement for sweeteners. Plain yoghurt is a good example.
Be warned that serving a “food having high fats” then a “food low in fat” is not effective, we repeat, they do not balance each other out. The better practice is to balance everything so no food has too much fat.
How To Balance A Home-Made Diet
So that your home-made weight-loss dog food is balanced, you should add certain levels of calcium to it. Well, that’s unless you already feed 20% or more of raw bones.
When you’re feeding weight-loss dog food, you’ll need a weightier serving to be able to achieve equally numbered calories with lesser fat. As for the quantity of calcium you need per meal, The National Research Council advises 1 gram of calcium for every thousand kcal in adult pooches.
You’ll also need to adjust the calcium you feed if your diet is mixed with both commercial and home-made foods. You can feed your dog calcium in any of its edible forms either as calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, or in form of dog food supplements.
In foodstuff, you can supply calcium by giving you dog bone, however, you should calculate the amount of bone you feed him so you don’t overfeed calcium. Also, eggshells are a good supply of calcium.
Weight-loss dog food might be best for obese dogs but it’s also better to feed your physically fit dogs a healthy diet so they don’t become overweight. Prevention is better than cure, be advised.
However, if your dog is already obese and what you’re in search of is remedy rather than prevention, weight-loss dog food diets are your best bets.
Do not starve an obese dog, he will die. If you think that because your dog is obese he needs to be starved, you need a rethink. Food is not only to gain weight, food helps our daily metabolism. Even the rate at which your pooch should lose weight should be advised by your vet. Drastic loss in weight over a short period of time can cause complications.
Stay fit, stay healthy, let’s get our summer bodies ready.