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Obesity in Dogs

Did you know that National Pet Obesity Awareness Day is October 14th? This is one occasion we here at your Greensboro, NC animal clinic can really get behind! Obesity is a very common problem among dogs. In fact, over half of our canine friends are overweight or obese. As a loving pet parent, you may think those extra pounds look cute, but the truth is that being overweight is very, very bad for your furkid’s health. Read on for more information.

Dangers of Obesity

Obesity greatly increases the risk of Fido developing several serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, liver trouble, respiratory problems, and even cancer. Obese dogs are also more likely to have complications from surgery or anesthesia; reproductive issues; and skin trouble.

Keeping Fido Fit

A lack of exercise is often a major factor in canine obesity. If your chubby pup is a couch potato who mostly moves when motivated by snacks, he may need more exercise. Most dogs require, at the very least, daily walks. Fido’s exact exercise requirements will depend on his age, breed, and health, so ask your vet for specific advice.

Diet

Diet also plays a huge role in Fido’s weight. Feed your pup a nutritious diet, and give him the best food you can afford. Dry food can sometimes contribute to obesity, as some types of kibble are very high in carbs. Also, don’t overindulge Fido with fatty treats. If you just can’t resist those sad puppy dog eyes, pull the old switcharoo on your pooch, and give him a string bean instead of cheeseburger he’s hoping for. Be mindful of portion control as well: just a few extra calories a day can turn your furball into a butterball! Ask your vet to recommend a suitable nutritional plan.

Other Factors

While usually diet and exercise both have a major influence on Fido’s weight, sometimes there are other factors at play. Some breeds are more likely to pack on pounds than others are. Do some research into Fido’s family history, and see if his breed is prone to getting pudgy. Age can also be a factor. Occasionally, medical issues can be the culprit behind canine obesity. If you’re not sure why your canine pal is getting chubby, have your vet examine him.

Please contact us, your Greensboro, NC vet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs.

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