Obesity in dogs causes many problems. More than 24% of overweight dogs have locomotion problems such as arthritis and spinal disc disease. Many also have respiratory difficulties, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Obesity can be prevented early in your dogs life by not overfeeding him as a puppy. The development of too many fat cells as a puppy, through overfeeding, will usually cause obesity in the adult dog. Therefore resist the temptation to have a roly-poly puppy.
If your dog has lost his waist, in other words if the abdominal area just behind the ribs is wider than its chest when viewed from above, then it is a fair bet that your dog is overweight. The staff at Mudgee Veterinary Hospital can formulate a programme for weight loss for your dog. You should aim to reduce your dogs weight by about 3% each week, reaching your dogs ideal weight after about 12 weeks. You should only feed your dog from its bowl and never feed tidbits or feed it from the table. To reduce weight you will need to feed a low calorie, high fibre diet. You can buy weight reduction diets from your Vet. These diets are totally balanced. The increased fibre fills the stomach and results in a feeling of fullness while not adding unnecessary calories.
Once your dog has reached its optimum weight, you should put him on a light diet to prevent the weight increasing again. Many dogs are obese because they use food to manipulate their owners and their owners use food to manipulate their dogs. To prevent this always feed your dog in an out-of-the-way room, such as the laundry and confine him there with its food for 20 minutes. If it has not eaten his food in this time, throw the remaining food away and give it no more until the next mealtime. By confining your dog with its food, attention seeking over the food bowl becomes a non-issue.
Obesity in your dog is a dangerous condition. Be tough with yourself to be kind to your dog. Reducing the weight of a beloved dog is not an easy task but the staff at Mudgee Veterinary Hospital are always available to help get you and your dog started on a new feeding programme and offer any helpful advice when needed.
Has your dog been vaccinated lately? OOOps! Vaccination is the only way to protect your dog against certain viral diseases that are highly contagious, and can be fatal. There is no cure for these viral diseases and treatment can be expensive, distressing for both you and your dog, and not always successful. The major viral diseases in Australia that affect dogs are: