Just like humans, obesity can lead to many diseases in dogs. Not only does it put a strain on your joints, but it can also cause internal organ disease. We will tell you when and why dogs tend to become obese, and what owners can do to keep their dogs healthy.
When are dogs most likely to become obese?
1. Cold Season
Have you ever heard the term “winter weight gain”? Both dogs and humans are warm-blooded animals with the ability to regulate their body temperature. When warm-blooded animals get cold, they burn fat to generate energy and regulate their body temperature so that it doesn’t drop.
In order to maintain body temperature, we need to store fat during the cold season, which is a physiological phenomenon that naturally increases our appetite.
Also, during the cold season, compared to the warm summer months, people tend to spend less time walking and more time relaxing indoors.
One of the causes of “winter weight gain” is that you exercise less during the cold season. The cold season is also a time when dogs are more likely to become obese.
2. After castration/neuter surgery
When dogs are spayed or neutered, they are more susceptible to the effects of sex hormones. The amount of sex hormones necessary for reproduction decreases, and the basal metabolism decreases, which reduces the required calorie intake, but since sex hormones have the ability to suppress appetite to some extent, the amount of sex hormones is reduced by surgery. If you do this, your appetite will increase.
After surgery, your dog will want to eat a lot, so you will need to be careful about the amount and calories of food. If it is difficult to reduce the amount of rice, choose a low-calorie food to feed.
In addition, after surgery, due to hormonal changes, the patient may become less interested in the surroundings, may not want to go for a walk or find it troublesome to move, resulting in a decrease in the amount of exercise and obesity.
Two reasons why dogs become obese
1. Lack of exercise
Of course, dogs will gain weight if they take in more calories than they burn. If this period lasts for a long time, you may continue to gain weight and become obese.
Most dogs love going for walks, but there may be some who don’t want to go outside, or who have gone outside but don’t want to walk.
The recommended time to walk your dog is for small dogs to be walked twice a day for about 20 minutes each, and for medium to large dogs to be walked two to three times a day for about 30 to 60 minutes each. Of course, there are large individual differences, but be sure to make sure your dog gets the minimum amount of exercise that suits your dog to prevent obesity.
2. High-calorie rice and Snacks
If your dog is gaining weight even though you have been able to get the right amount of exercise for your dog, the food and treats you are giving may be too high in calories.
Just like humans, please be careful if you feed your cat mainly foods that are high in fat or carbohydrates, as this will make them more likely to gain weight.
If you are feeding your dog commercially available food or treats, be sure to check the calories listed on the package and make sure to feed your dog the appropriate amount.
If you are feeding your dog homemade food, it is not a good idea to reduce too much protein (meat or fish), which is important for maintaining your dog’s health. Choose meats and fish with as little fat as possible, and remove the fatty parts and remove the skin from the chicken before cooking.
Foods other than protein, such as white rice, potatoes, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, are relatively easy to gain weight, so be careful not to give them too much.
What Owners Can Do for Their Dog’s Health?
Obesity in dogs can lead to various diseases. First, the strain on the joints causes pain, which makes walking a chore. When walking becomes a chore, they become reluctant to go for walks, reduce their physical activity, and end up gaining even more weight, creating a vicious cycle.
If you continue to gain weight, you may be at risk of developing internal organ disease or heart disease. Owners should take good care of their dogs to prevent them from gaining too much weight.
1. Calorie control
If you have a gluttonous appetite and tend to overeat, make sure to keep a close eye on your calorie intake.
It’s easy if you can reduce the amount of food you give, such as rice or snacks, but if that’s difficult, reduce the amount of rice you usually give and top it up with low-calorie vegetables or tofu to help make your child feel full. Let’s help them grow.
Recommended ingredients include radish, cabbage, and broccoli. Heat everything until it becomes soft and then cut it into small pieces. If you are giving it to your dog for the first time, start with a small amount and check your dog’s physical condition as there are concerns about allergies.
2. Try to live a life that doesn’t make you fat
Appropriate exercise is important to avoid gaining weight. Even humans find it difficult to go on a diet after becoming obese.
Dogs can also become stressed due to changes such as a sudden change in their diet or a sudden increase in the amount of exercise they do. Be sure to exercise regularly and feed your dog a diet tailored to your pet to prevent it from becoming obese.
A slightly chubby dog may look cute, but obesity is obviously not good for your health. Dieting is difficult for both dogs and people. Be careful not to let your dog gain too much weight at a time when it is most likely to become obese.
Also, if your dog suddenly gains weight, it may be due to a hidden illness, so have it examined at a veterinary hospital.