Our dog warden Russ is back on the blog and discussing a problem that weighs heavy on the minds of all pet owners… Obesity.
Have a read through Russ’ advice below to ensure the best health for your four legged companion…🐾🐾
– – – – – –
There was a running theme to three calls that a got this week.
The subject is an all too common problem these days and affects humans as well as companion animals. It’s easy to prevent if you have just one thing – willpower. The problem is of course obesity.
When I went to the owner’s house I could see that the dog was struggling to breath and that was without exercise. The owner agreed for me to take the dog to a local vet to be weighed and it turned out that the dog was almost 50% over the ideal weight for the breed in question.
There are many implications for overweight dogs. As well as general loss of quality of life, arthritis, ligament strain, slipped discs, heart and respiratory diseases can all be caused by being overweight. Skin disease is also an issue because obese dogs may develop skin folds that restrict airflow and resulting in them becoming moist and prone to infection. Blood flow to the skin may also be reduced due to cardiac or respiratory deficiency while liver insufficiency, diabetes and certain types of cancer can also come about from obesity.
The PDSA report that the causes of pet obesity are fairly straightforward: too much food and too little exercise.
With feeding there are two problems: overfeeding and a good quality diet.
It’s fair to say that many owners don’t follow feeding guidelines – they guess what’s the right amount or they feed on demand, when they think their pet is hungry. Also people feed their pets treats throughout the day, whether that’s designated treats or human food such as takeaways, cheese, chips, crisps and meal time leftovers.
Pets really do struggle to burn off those extra calories. When it comes to exercise, the PDSA report estimates that across the country, six million dogs go for a daily walk shorter than an hour long, and a quarter of a million dogs don’t get walked at all.
Many of the vets in Worthing run weight clinics free of charge where the dogs are weighed and the owners receive the advice and encouragement needed to return their dogs to a happy healthy weight again.
If you think your dog is overweight please take them to your local vet and then ask what your dog’s ideal weight should be. You’ll be doing your companion and yourself a massive favour and extending the precious time you have together.