Dog Obesity in Columbus, OH: Causes and How to Prevent It
Dog obesity is a more common problem than you might think. Although it may be tempting to think of an overweight dog as cute and cuddly, it’s actually very dangerous to allow dogs to become obese without working to prevent or treat the underlying issue.
In this article, we’ll show you some of the most common causes of obesity in dogs as well as how to prevent these problems. With the help of this information, you can figure out a good course of action for your dog and can also determine whether or not it’s time to talk to your veterinarian in Columbus, OH for more information.
Common Causes of Dog Obesity in Columbus, OH
The first thing that pet owners should know about dog obesity is what can actually cause this condition to happen. By being aware the potential causes that can lead to a dog becoming obese, you can actually help your dog from ever experiencing this problem.
Below are some common causes of dog obesity:
Over feeding is the a common cause of obesity in dogs. This problem may come in the form of letting a dog graze or eat as much as he wants during a feeding session, but it can also come from too many treats or table scraps. Multiple people in the household feeding or feeding treats is also a cause of obesity, as well as not properly measuring proportions.
The more your dog eats outside of what he needs in a day, the more likely he will be to become overweight or obese.
Injury or Illness Preventing Exercise
Pets suffering from injuries, illnesses, or chronic ailments can contribute to their weight. Dogs in Columbus who have a lot of pain or difficulty moving, for example, will be less likely to exercise freely than those who do not. They have much lower energy requirements in a day than active dogs and can be easily overfed.
Certain medications may cause weight gain or weight retention in your dog, just like some medications might cause the same problems in humans. If your dog is taking a regular medication or has recently been put on one, this could be the cause of the obesity, especially if the weight gain has been fairly sudden. Please contact your veterinarian to discuss this.
Cushing’s disease is one potential cause of weight gain in dogs. This health problem causes dogs to eat everything they find, because it makes them feel like they are hungry all the time. This disease is caused by excessive steroid being made in the body. Symptoms of this disease are excessive thirst, urination, hunger and weight gain. If your dog has these symptoms, contact your veterinarian.
These dogs may also be at risk of eating dangerous foods or non-food objects as well.
Hypothyroidism is another common health problem that can lead to dog obesity. The symptoms are similar to those found in Cushing’s disease, and sometimes the two may be confused, especially by pet owners who haven’t spoken to a vet in Columbus yet.
How You Can Help Prevent Obesity in Dogs in Columbus, OH
Now that you know some of the common causes of obesity in dogs, you can now work on helping prevent this condition from ever happening to your pet. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian about the best course of action for your pet, but there are some things you can do that are good to keep in mind.
Some ways to help prevent dog obesity include, but aren’t limited to:
The most important step in helping your dog lose weight or stay at a healthy weight is to provide healthy dog food. Dogs should be given kibble that is appropriate for their age and breed, and you should always choose kibble that is made from healthy ingredients with little to no fillers.
It’s important to be aware of the different aspects of dog nutrition. Your vet will be able to recommend a good quality dog food specific to your dog’s needs, so be sure to follow the advice of your veterinarian in Columbus if so.
Limiting Table Scraps
Dogs who are given a lot of table scraps are naturally going to gain weight more quickly than dogs who are not. This is because they are eating food that isn’t really meant for them to eat, and it could be packed with unhealthy ingredients.
It can be hard not to share food with your pet, but cutting back on table scraps can make a big difference, especially if your dog is already overweight. The same is true of treats. If you give scraps or treats, consider decreasing their meals. Replace treats with kibble or ice cubes.
Sticking to a Feeding Schedule
Feed your dog on a schedule rather than letting him graze or feeding him whenever he seems hungry. This may help regulate his eating and, over time, it may help him lose weight as well. Feeding pets the guidelines for their target weight, not their current weight, is recommended.
At first, though, your dog is likely to be unhappy about this change, so prepare yourself for some challenging days as you make the transition. Within a week or two, your dog should be eating on a schedule with no trouble.
Finding Reasonable Exercises
If your dog is older, has a chronic illness, or has been injured, it’s important to find exercises that are reasonable for him. He may not be able to go hiking or take a lengthy walk, but even some light exercise is better than nothing. Swimming and other low impact exercises are useful for older and obese pets.
Working with Your Vet
Your veterinarian in Columbus can help you figure out the right treatment and management options if your dog is diagnosed with a health condition causing him to become obese.
Contact North Kenny Veterinary Hospital in Columbus, OH for More Information on Dog Obesity
Although reversing or preventing obesity in dogs can be tricky, it’s usually not impossible. Even if the weight issue for your dog is caused by a health problem, you can work with your vet to figure out the best solution and provide a healthier life for your pet at the same time.
At North Kenny Veterinary Hospital, your pet’s health is our number one priority. Our team understands the importance that proper nutrition and weight plays in your dog’s overall health. If you have any questions about dog obesity, or if you’re needing schedule a wellness exam for your pet, call us today at (614) 451-1204 or schedule an appointment online!
About North Kenny Veterinary Hospital
North Kenny Veterinary Hospital has been serving Columbus, OH pet families with exceptional veterinary medicine since the 1950s. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine as well as low-stress handling to help pets have a more pleasant veterinary experience. We use Fear Free techniques for every cat and dog to help reduce their anxiety and calm their nerves.