Dominated dogs of every breed are fast following in the footsteps of their masters. The incidence of dog obesity is much higher among dogs owned by overweight people than those owned by healthy dog owners just as soft and easy living has made dogs just as before to obesity as humans. The breeds most commonly overweight are dachshunds, small terriers, beagles and cocker spaniels. This is not to say that the other breeds are not susceptible to obesity, any dog that lies around all day has a high risk of becoming obese.
It is also remarkable to note that one third of the people who owns obese dogs are not aware of their dogs having this kind of problem. To check if your dog is obese, try to see if you can feel the ribs of your pet using the palm of your hand. If you can not, this means that your dog needs to lose some weight.
Misconceptions, Causes and Treatments
Some dog owners feed their obese dogs the same diet pills they are taking. Diet pills prescribed for human consumption may contain Benzedrine which can kill the appetite and increase your dog's metabolism. These drugs should only be given on the advice of a vet as these diet pills can be harmful to dogs with existing heart and circulatory problems.
Cutting Down Food Consumption
Some people owning obese dogs will also try to treat their pet's obesity by severely limiting the amount of food they feed it. It should be noted that it is the quality of food and not it's quantity that will help the dog lose weight.
It is recommended that the dog owner cut back on feeding his dog high-calorie food while increasing protein-rich food in the dog's diet. Protein rich food should combine at least half of the daily diet of the dog. This is to ensure that weight loss is gradual and free from any side effects.
Dog food vs Table scraps
Contrary to the news that table scraps are healthy for your pet dog, it can actually be one of the causes of obesity. It is harder to maintain and monitor feed quality if your dog's diet is composed of table scraps. For this reason, feeding you dog commercially produced dog food will be much better for it's health as dog food has good nutritional balance.
Medical causes of Dog Obesity
Spayed female dogs also have a tendency to become obese. Likewise, castrated males are also susceptible to this medical condition. For these cases, the use of hormone supplements can help these dogs stay active and slim.
Some dog breeds also seem to have under-active thyroid conditions. This makes a dog sluggish, overweight and generally uninterested in any form of exercise. Putting a dog suffering from this condition on a regimen of thyroid drugs will help it burn more fat and speed up its metabolism.
Of course, exercise will play a big part in treating an obese dog. Try to set aside at least 30 minutes in your schedule, three times a week, to walk your dog. This will ensure that your dog will not only be medically healthy but mentally active as well.
Dog owners should wait at least two weeks before expecting any changes in their obese dog's weight. It takes at least two weeks for the dog's body to use up any excess fluids in its system. Of course, dealing with a dog's obesity will be much easier if the dog is exercised regularly on top of giving it the proper diet.