Obesity in dogs and its prevention
Obesity in pets is a major health concern and like with humans, can cause many health conditions such as diabetes, breathing problems, hypertension (high blood pressure), arthritis and other joint problems, heart disease (and in extreme cases heart failure). It may also adversely affect an existing health issue. Obesity occurs when dogs are overfed and under-exercised, exceeding their energy requirements, which then promotes the storage of fat. However certain health conditions can also contribute to weight gain, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome. However this would need to be diagnosed by a vet who may prescribe a food specific for the condition, such as the Royal Canin veterinary diets.
Obesity is one of the most common health disorders as it frequently goes unacknowledged, whilst owners are also reluctant to reduce their dog’s calorie intake as they believe it means dramatically reducing their food intake. However providing an ‘obesity diet’ supplies your pet with low calorie food, meaning they can eat the same amount as usual, so you don’t have to worry about them going hungry.
Preventing obesity is key as once your dog becomes obese it is much harder for them to exercise and consequently lose weight. It is important in obesity prevention that the recommended allowance of food (as prescribed on food packaging) is followed and treats are given on occasion. Dog treats that are low in calories are ideal. James Wellbeloved offer a variety of food flavours and tasty treats that are ideal for pets requiring weight management. They are packed with fibre to satisfy hunger and protein which encourages the loss of fat rather than muscle during weight loss.
Caution must also be taken as certain dog breeds are more prone to obesity, including; English Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Pugs, Dalmatians and Cocker Spaniels. Royal Canin dog food has food specifically designed for these breeds. These foods have been formulated based on research conducted on the specific needs and feeding behaviours of the breeds’ individual characteristics.
It is important that you feed your dog a food suited to their life stage and life style, as puppies have different requirements to adult and older dogs. Working dogs will also have a much higher energy requirement than a dog which gets walked once a day, for which a diet low in fat and energy is better, suited to prevent obesity; Royal Canin has a variety of pet food suited to your pet’s lifestyle.
Royal canin puppy food also offers food specially designed for different breeds of puppy. These contain a higher energy requirement as puppies require more energy for growth and their higher activity levels. These foods are of various shapes and sizes depending on the feeding habits of the breed and to suit the jaws and teeth of the breed, as some pick up their food with their teeth and others with their lips or tongue.
Remember, you are being far kinder to your dog feeding them the correct foods than to give them your junk food!