Obesity in Dogs

Obesity is a disease that can be defined as an excess of body fat that is enough to impair health, welfare and quality of life. In other words, a dog having  25%-30% more weight than his ideal weight will be termed as obese. Obesity is a nutritional disease which is caused by excess fat in the body. 

Most at risk are dogs that are over-fed, lack the ability to exercise or that have the tendency to retain weight. Obesity is considered a serious problem in dogs as it can result in serious adverse health effects such as diabetes mellitus, damage to joints, bones, and ligaments, heart disease and increased blood pressure, difficulty breathing, decreased stamina, heat intolerence, decreased liver function, and decreased quality and length of life.

Although obesity is common in dogs of all ages, it mostly occurs in middle-aged dogs between the ages of five to ten years. More prone to this condition are neutered and indoor dogs.

The most common and easiest way to determine if a dog is obese it to run the hand along its side to feel the ribs. If the ribs are not easily felt or are impossible to feel, the dog is most likely to be a victim of obesity.

Common symptoms associated with this condition are:

Weight gain

Excess body fat

The inability (or unwillingness) to exercise

An above-ideal score in a body condition assessment 

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