The Pet Doctor

What Your Vet Wants You To Know About Caring For Overweight Dogs

As a dog owner, you'd be in good company if you find yourself unable to resist your pup's request for treats or an extra meal. Unfortunately, those puppy dog eyes often lead to too much food and one overweight puppy. You might think that a pup with too much weight is just cute and nothing to worry about, but the truth is that it does come with some concerns. Here's a look at what your veterinarian wants you to know about your overweight dog.

What Causes Dogs To Become Overweight?

The first thing that you need to understand as a dog owner is what can cause your dog to become overweight. Knowing what causes excess weight is the first step toward dealing with the problem and keeping your pup healthy.

Overfeeding is a common cause of overweight dogs. Some dogs don't stop eating when they are full, and many are food motivated, so they will eat meals and snacks and still beg for treats. For some dogs, this leads to excess weight because of their desire to eat excessively.

In addition, as dogs get older, their required calorie intake may change. This can lead to accidental overfeeding if you don't adjust their portions accordingly. Your vet can help you with this calculation when needed.

Various health conditions, including hypothyroidism, can cause your dog to gain weight. Slow metabolism, inactivity, and similar issues can also contribute. Your veterinarian can help you isolate the cause of your dog's weight gain.

Why Is A Dog's Weight Concerning?

You might wonder why your dog's weight even matters. After all, a pudgy dog is often cute. Unfortunately, however, a dog with a weight problem is at risk for all sorts of health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and even joint or muscle issues. 

Your veterinarian can help you monitor your pet's weight and any potential complications that could arise to ensure that your pet is as safe and healthy as possible even with the weight struggles.

How Can You Help A Dog Lose Weight?

Understanding the causes of weight gain and the risks associated with it can help you to appreciate why your dog's weight is so important. However, it doesn't necessarily help you to understand how to encourage your dog to lose weight. A dog's weight loss starts with your veterinarian's help. Your vet will help you to determine the cause of your pet's weight gain first.

For dogs who are gaining weight because of excess food intake, low-calorie food and restricted treats may be the best solution. For dogs that are gaining weight due to a health condition or low activity levels may need encouragement to walk more frequently or in short bursts. This encouragement can help your dog to burn some of those excess calories.

Talk with your veterinarian today about any concerns you may have about your dog's weight. They can provide further information regarding pet care.