Causes and consequences of obesity in dogs

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: April 2, 2017
Causes and consequences of obesity in dogs

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Obesity in dogs is an increasingly common disorder and one that should not be taken lightly. It can become chronic, trigger other diseases and seriously reduce their lifespan.

Today, obesity is considered as the first disease among pets. This disease is nothing more than the accumulation of excess fat in the body, which increases mass and body weight. This is not just down to a lack of or a reduced amount of exercise, there are several reasons why a dog may be overweight. It is vital to be informed on everything to do with the health of your companion.

If you suspect that your dog may be obese but don't know what could happen in the short or long term, then read this AnimalWised article where we explain the causes and consequences of obesity in dogs.

You may also be interested in: Obesity in Cats

Causes of obesity in dogs

Many owners look at their dogs with such loving eyes that they brainwash themselves into thinking their pooch is just a little overweight, when in reality they are critically obese and reducing their lifespan. The main cause of this disease is poor diet, offering human food or too much food. However, it can also be caused by other factors such as:

  • The breed's genetic predispositions.
  • Age (the body and metabolism does not work the same).
  • Drugs with this side effect.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Stress:
  • Lack of stimuli that somatize at body level.
  • Factors relating to the edoccrine system, for example following castration of the dog, they can suffer from hypothyroidism or cushing's syndrome.

Obesity is a disease that progresses and worsens over time. It should be detected in its initial stage to start treating it as soon as possible. The consequences of obesity in dogs can be extremely serious.

Causes and consequences of obesity in dogs - Causes of obesity in dogs

Consequences of obesity in dogs

Excess fat affects the longevity of the animal, reducing life expectancy by almost two years compared to other thinner dogs. This is because obesity does not only mean that the dog is overweight but also gradually limits their motor skills, decreases energy, impairs their mood and may lead to the dog developing other diseases.

Cardiac affectations are one of these because large amounts of fat accumulate in the heart and lung area. The increase in body weight has negative effects on the heart rhythm because the heart must to try and pump blood throughout the body at a higher rate than it can perform.

Arthritis and joint degeneration is also a consequence of obesity. What happens here is that the skeleton of the dog is not able to withstand so much weight and starts decompensating. The kilos and excess fat exert extraordinary pressure on the bones of the body.

Furthermore, obesity can cause a resistance to the important regulatory hormone insulin and this can lead to excessive accumulation of blood sugar; risking your dog to Mellitus diabetes.

Causes and consequences of obesity in dogs - Consequences of obesity in dogs

How to treat obesity in dogs

In order to treat obesity, it is vital to introduce changes or improvements in diet combined with an active lifestyle that includes exercise and fun (a bored dog is a dog prone to obesity). It is important to prevent your dog from eating between meals and snacking all day on things they find on the floor or food scraps from overly-generous family members. Discover our diet for obese dogs and exercises for obese dogs and begin to improve the health of your best friend.

With this step in place, you must then fix a goal; in this case, an ideal weight for your dog. Let this be your motivation, later you will need to ensure this weight remains the same. Visit your veterinarian to have him or her guide you through this process. Try to track your dog's progress by taking notes every 10 days at least.

Imagine that it is you yourself who must improve their lifestyle, give your dog the life they deserve and do everything within your power for your pet to always feel healthy and happy.

Causes and consequences of obesity in dogs - How to treat obesity in dogs

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Causes and consequences of obesity in dogs, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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1 comment
Kathreen Miller
Depending on the cause, arthritis may affect one or any number of your dog's joints.Arthritis is commonly worse in overweight and unfit dogs, so the most important therapy is the combination of weight control and exercise management.Supplements also play an important role in treatment of dogs from arthritis.I use pet bounce for dogs for my dog.It is a natural pain relief for dogs.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Kathreen
Thank you so much for this information!Here at AnimalWised we always appreciate this extra information
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Causes and consequences of obesity in dogs

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