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Pet Obesity- Dogs

What is Obesity?

In simple words, obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat. Is my dog fat? Dogs are considered to be overweight when they weigh 10-20% above their ideal body weight and obese when they weigh 20% or more above their ideal body weight. How do I know the ideal weight of my dog? As the list is long and we do not want to miss any breeds that you may have we have enlisted all the breeds with their ideal body weights in our blog on our website in the blogs section.

What are the causes of obesity in my dog?

There are several causes of obesity in dogs. It is most commonly caused by an imbalance between the energy intake and usage—in other words, the dog eats more calories than they can expend. Offering high-calorie foods, frequent treats and table-scraps can lead to this condition. Inactivity, which may be due to old age or any skeletal problems leads to inability to use up the optimim energy as compared to the intake. Owner’s faulty or uninformed decisions on dog’s food intake, diet, palatability, environment, lifestyle & genetics may play a major part in the same. The social setting of meals can also influence eating behaviour, with most dogs which increase their food intake when eating alongside other pets in what’s known as ‘social facilitation’. Having a single dog as pet can also spoil the pet leading to unhealthy habits in feeding and exercise making them more prone to obeisty. Other common causes include:
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Disease)
  • Neutering, is usually carried out at a young age. Reduced sex hormones also slows down fat metabolism, which also reduces and alters the need for nutrients, so owners who are unaware of this change and continue to feed their pets the same amount of food will usually see a weight gain in their dog.
How to know if your dog is fat?
  • Difficulty in feeling/ palpating dog’s ribs, spine or waistline
  • Abdominal sagging
  • A bigger, rounder face
  • Reluctance to go for walks or lagging behind
  • Excessive panting and exercise intolerance due to which dog appears tired and lazy even after very small exercise or activity.
  • Need of assistance in getting up and down normally or in and out of vehicles.
For this we use a 9 point scoring method which can be seen in depth in the following diagram shown at the last.

Which are the most prone breeds for obesity?

  1. Labrador Retriever: There are mainly two reasons for a Lab’s obesity: genetics, and improper exercise. Scientists now know that some Labs carry a gene that limits their ability to feel full while eating, making them most likely to gain weight.
  • Basset Hound: The Basset Hound has a big appetite, slow metabolism, and relaxed demeanor which lead to tendency to become obese.
  • Dachshund: Dachshunds have a unique body shape, with long sausage-like bodies and short legs which can make exercise difficult. For this reason, even slight overweight can places undue stress on their little legs.
  • English Bulldog: English Bulldogs generally suffer from exercisr intolernce which makes it extremely easy for them to gain weight. These dogs need very strict diets.
  • Scottish Terrier: They put on weight easily, and often struggle to lose what has been gained.
  • Beagle: They are active breed and love to eat, yet rarely receive adequate exercise. They must be given strict food portions.
  • German Shepherd: They are prone to endocrine disorders which substantially slows down their metabolism. Proper exercise is also must for this active breed.
  • Cocker Spaniel: They are the essentially lap dogs. So they receive lots of treats and little exercise, resulting in high obesity rates.
  • Pug: They were developed to have a roly-poly type body. But this trait also means that it is easy for the breed to gain weight when not given proper exercise and food portions.
  • Rottweiler: They are intended to be large and muscular. But if they are not given enough exercise, it can be easy for this dog to gain weight and insulate its well-muscled frame.

What will happen if my dog gets fat?

Obesity shortens a dog’s life and makes them more likely to develop diseases. The fat tissue is biologically active. It secretes inflammatory hormones and creates oxidative stress on the body’s tissue, both of which contribute to many diseases. Thinking of obesity as a chronic, low-level inflammatory condition is a new approach. “Excess fat negatively impacts a dog’s health and longevity.” Obese dogs develop an increased risk mainly for:
  • Many types of cancer
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Heart disease, complications from cardio-respiratory disorders & hypertension
  • Urogenital disorders
  • Osteoarthritis and a faster degeneration of affected joints
  • Anesthetic complications as they are less heat tolerant or exercise intolerant
  • On the other hand, obesity may be an indicator of disease, such as hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) or Cushing’s disease (overactive adrenal glands)

What do I do if my dog gets fat?

First of all if you suspect or find any of the above mentioned symptoms in your dog, visit your vet without any delay. The earlier you address this problem the earlier you can control it. Following are the steps that you need to take only under the guidance of a vet and not with the advice of any friend or acquaintance or an incompetent person. Step one: Monitoring and deciding your dogs current and target weight Step two: Making small changes in your lifestyle to effectively apply the diet and exercise schedule advised by your vet Step three: Following the advised follow up sessions stringently as changes will be suggested by your vet after assessing the improvement on every follow up if required.

What should I do more?

You should understand that overcoming obesity is a long process and may take few months to few years and hence you need to be patient. Any weight optimization strategy will need you to do the following:
  1. Modify the feeding habits:
This means carefully cutting down on your pet’s calorie calculations and not out rightly cutting the ration. Diets rich in protein and fiber but low in fat are typically recommended for weight loss, as it gives the dog the feeling of being full, but also provides them with more energy. Replacing traditional treats with carrot sticks is a great healthy way to start. Every family member should be given pet feeding instructions and never leave any food lying around. Avoid feeding table scraps or any leftovers. Always check the daily recommended feeding guide on the packaging and weigh out the daily amount at the beginning of the day. You can then give ‘treats’ from this amount during the day, so you don’t overfeed but only as your vet advises. Remember, to introduce new feed gradually over a week’s period, mixing new food with the old, and always check the daily recommended amount. 2. Exercise: Gradually increasing exercise (e.g. longer walks, or increased canine activity such as playing with ball or other interesting activities for your dog). The exercise given to your dog should be optimum as excess or unwarranted hyper exercise can damage the joints or do more bad to your dog’s health than good. For this expert advice from your vet will be of utmost importance. When your dog starts to lose weight, you will notice he is happier, more inclined to exercise, and has a lot more energy. So don’t hesitate to book an appointment with your vet for advice and a healthy eating plan that helps your dog battle the bulge.  
Affenpinscher 7-9 lb
Afghan Hound Male: 60 lb; Female: 50 lb
African Boerboels 154-200 lb
Airedale Terrier 55 lb
Akbash Male: 90-140 lb; Female: 75-105 lb
Akita Male: 85-115 lb; Female: 65-90 lb
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs Male: 70-90 lb; Female: 55-75 lb
Alaskan Klee Kais 23 lb
Alaskan Malamute Male: 85 lb; Female: 75 lb
American Bulldog Male: 75-125 lb; Female: 60-100 lb
American Eskimo Dog 20-40 lbs
American Foxhound 55-75 lbs
American Staffordshire Terrier 57-67 lbs
American Water Spaniel Male: 30-45 lb; Female: 25-40 lb
Anatolian Shepherd Dog 90-150 lb
Australian Cattle Dog 35-45 lb
Australian Kelpie 31-46 lb
Australian Shepherd Male: 50-65 lb; Female: 40-55 lb
Australian Silky Terrier 8-11 lb
Australian Terrier 12-14 lb
Basenji Male: 24 lb; Female: 22 lb
Basset Hound 40-60 lb
Beagle 18-30 lb
Bearded Collie 45-55 lb
Beauceron 65-85 lb
Bedlington Terrier 17-23 lbs
Belgian Malinois 60-65 lb
Belgian Shepherd Dog Male: 55-66 lb; Female: 44-55 lb
Belgian Tervuren Male: 55-65 lb; Female: 40-50 lb
Bernese Mountain Dog Male: 90-120 lb; Female: 70-100 lb
Bichon Frise Males: 11-16 lb; Females: 10-15 lb
Black and Tan Coonhound 55-75 lb
Black Russian Terrier 80-145 lb
Bloodhound Male 65-75 lb; Female: 55-65 lb
Border Collie 30-45 lb
Border Terrier 11.5-15.5 lb
Borzoi Male: 75-105 lb; Female: 60-85 lb
Boston Terrier 10-25 lb
Bouvier des Flandres 60-90 lb
Boxer Male: 65-80 lb; Female: 50-65 lb
Briard Male: 75-100 lb; Female 50-65 lb
Brittany 30-40 lb
Brussels Griffon 8-10 lb
Bull Terrier Male: 62-70 lb; Female: 50-60 lb
Bullmastiff Male: 110-130 lb; Female: 100-120 lb
Cairn Terrier Male: 14 lb; Female: 13lb
Canaan Dog Male: 45-55 lb; Female: 35-45 lb
Cane Corso 88-110 lb
Cardigan Welsh Corgi Male: 30-38 lb; Female: 25-34 lb
Carolina Dog 30-65 lb
Catahoula Leopard Dogs 40-90 lb
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 13-18 lb
Central Asian Ovtcharkas Male: 121-176 lb; Female: 88-143 lb
Cesky Terrier 16-22 lb
Chesapeake Bay Retriever Male: 65-80 lb; Female: 55-70 lb
Chihuahua Not to exceed 6 lb
Chinese Crested 5-12 lb
Chinese Foo Small: Under 20 lb; Medium: 21-50 lb; Large: 51 lb and up
Chinese Shar-Pei 45-60 lb
Chipoo 3-12 lb
Chow Chow 45-70 lb
Clumber Spaniel Male 70-85 lb; Female: 55-70 lb
Collie Male: 60-70 lb; Female 50-65 lb
Coton De Tulears Male: 9-13 lb; Female: 8-11 lb
Curly-Coated Retriever 60-70 lb
Dachshund Minature: 11 lb and under; Standard: over 11 lb (usually 16-32 lb)
Dalmatian 40-60 lb
Dandie Dinmont Terrier 18-24 lb
Doberman Pinscher 65-90 lb
Dogue de Bordeauxs Male: 110 lb; Female: 99 lb
English Bulldogs Male: 50 lb; Female: 40 lb
English Cocker Spaniels Male: 28-34 lb; Female: 26-32 lb
English Foxhound 55-75 lb
English Setter Male: 60-65 lb; Female: 50-55 lb
English Shepherd Male: 45-60 lb; Females: 40-50 lb
English Springer Spaniel Male: about 50 lb; Female: about 40 lb
English Toy Spaniel 8-14 lb
Estrela Mountain Dogs Male: 88-110 lb; Female: 66-88 lb
Field Spaniel 35-50 lb
Fila Brasileiros Male: 110 lb; Female: 90 lb
Finnish Spitz Male: 47-53 lb; Female: 40-47 lb
Flat-Coated Retriever 60-70 lb
Fox Terrier (Smooth) Male: 17-19 lb; Female: 15-17 lb
Fox Terrier (Wire) Male: 17-19 lb; Female: 15-17 lb
French Bulldog Not to exceed 28 lb
German Pinscher 25-35 lb
German Shepherd 75-95 lb
German Shorthaired Pointer Male: 55-70 lb; Female: 45-60 lb
German Wirehaired Pointer 45-75 lb
Giant Schnauzer Male: 60-105 lb; Female: 55-75 lb
Glen of Imaal Terrier Males: about 35 lb;  Female: less
Golden Retriever Male: 65-75 lb; Female: 55-65 lb
Goldendoodle Minature: 15-30 lb; Medium: 30-45 lb; Standard: 45 and over lb
Gordon Setter Male: 55-80 lb; Female: 45-70 lb
Great Dane Male: 130-180 lb; Female: 110-150 lb
Great Pyrenees Male: 115 lb; Female: 85-90 lb
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 105-140 lb; Female: 85-110 lb
Greyhound Male: 65-70 lb; Female: 60-65 lb
Harrier Male: 45-60 lb; Female: 35-45 lb
Havanese 7-13 lb
Hungarian Vizsla Male: 45-66 lb; Female: 40-55 lb
Ibizan Hound Male: 50 lb; Female: 45 lb
Irish Setter Male: about 70 lb; Female: about 60 lb
Irish Terrier Male: around 27 lb; Female: around 25 lb
Irish Water Spaniel Male: 55-65 lb; Female: 45-58 lb
Irish Wolfhound Male: at least 120 lb; Female: at least 105 lb
Italian Greyhound 7-14 lb
Jack Russell Terrier 14-18 lb
Japanese Chin 4-7 lb
Keeshond Male: about 45 lb; Female: about 35 lb
Kerry Blue Terrier Male: 33-40 lb; Female: less
Komondor Male: average 80 lb; Female: average 70 lb
Kooikerhondjes 20-24 lb
Kuvasz Male: 100-115 lb; Female: 70-90 lb
Labradoodle Miniature: 26-40; Medium: 40-55 lb; Standard: 55-77 lb
Labrador Retriever Male: 65-80 lb; Female: 55-70 lb
Laekenois 55-65 lb
Lakeland Terrier About 16-17 lb
Lancashire Heeler 6-13 lb
Lhasa Apso 13-15 lb
Löwchen 8-18 lb
Maltese 4-7 lb
Maltipoo 5-20 lb
Manchester Terrier under 12 lb (usually 6-8 lb)
Maremma Sheepdogs 66-100 lb
Mastiff 175-190 lb
Miniature Bull Terrier 25-33 lb
Miniature Pinscher 8-10 lb
Miniature Poodle 4-8 lb
Miniature Schnauzer 13-15 lb
Neapolitan Mastiff Male: 150 lb; Female: 110 lb
Newfoundland Male: 130-150 lb; Female: 100-120 lb
Norfolk Terrier 11-12 lb
Norwegian Buhunds Male: 31-40 lb; Female: 26-35 lb
Norwegian Elkhound Male: 55 lb: Female: 48 lb
Norwich Terrier Around 12 lb
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Male: 45-52 lb; Female: 35-42 lb
Old English Sheepdog Male: 70-90 lb; Female 60-80 lb
Otterhound Male: 115 lb; Female: 80 lb
Papillon 4-9 lb
Parson Russell Terrier 13-17 lb
Peekapoo 4-20 lb
Pekingese Not to exceed 14 lb
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Male: 27 lb; Female: 25 lb
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen 25-35 lb
Pharaoh Hound 45-55 lb
Pit Bull 30-60 lb
Plott Male: 50-60 lb; Female: 40-55 lb
Pointer Male: 55-75 lb; Female: 45-65 lb
Polish Lowland Sheepdog 30-35 lb
Pomapoo 3-14 lb
Pomeranian 3-7 lb; preferably 4-5 lb
Poodle 4-8 lb
Portuguese Water Dog 42-60 lb; Female: 35-50 lb
Pug 14-18 lb
Puli 25-35 lb
Rat Terrier Toy: 4-6 lb; Mid-sized: 6-8 lb; Standard: 12-35 lb
Redbone Coonhounds 45-70 lb
Rhodesian Ridgeback Male: 85 lb; Female: 70 lb
Rottweiler Male: 85-135 lb; Female: 80-100 lb
Saint Bernard 120-200 lb
Saluki 35-65 lb
Samoyed Male: 45-65 lb; Female: 35-50 lb
Schipperke 12-16 lb; Female: 10-14 lb
Schnoodle Toy: 6-10 lb; Miniature: 13-20 lb; Standard: 20-75 lb
Scottish Deerhound Male: 85-110 lb; Female: 75-95 lb
Scottish Terrier Male: 19-22 lb; Female: 18-21 lb
Sealyham Terrier Male: 23-24 lb; Female: 18-22 lb
Shetland Sheepdog About 20 lb
Shiba Inu Male: average 23 lb; Female: average 17 lb
Shih Tzu 9-16 lb
Siberian Husky Male: 45-60 lb; Female: 35-50 lb
Silky Terrier 8-11 lb
Skye Terrier Male: 35-40 lb; Female: 25-30 lb
Snorkie 6-14 lb
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier Male: 35-40 lb; Female: 30-35 lb
Spinone Italiano Male: 71-82 lb; Female: 62-71 lb
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Male: 35-40 lb; Female: 30-35 lb
Standard Schnauzer Male: 40-45 lb; Female: 35-40 lb
Sussex Spaniel 35-45 lb
Swedish Vallhund 19-30 lb
Thai Ridgeback Male: 40-60 lb; Female: 35-55 lb
Tibetan Mastiff Male: 90-150 lb or more; Female: 80-110 lb
Tibetan Spaniel 9-15 lbs
Tibetan Terrier 18-30 lb
Toy Fox Terrier 3.5-7 lb
Toy Manchester Terriers under 12 lb (usually 6-8 lb)
Toy Poodles 4-8 lb
Vizsla 45-65 lb
Weimaraner 55-90 lb
Welsh Springer Spaniel 35-50 lb
Welsh Terrier 20-22 lb
West Highland White Terrier 15-21 lb
Whippet 15-30 lb
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon 50-60 lb
Xoloitzcuintle Toy: 5-15 lb; Miniature: 15-30 lb; Standard: 25-40 lb
Yorkie-Poo 4-15 lb
Yorkshire Terrier Not to exceed 7 lb
Source internet
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