We hear all the time about the dangers of obesity in humans, but have you ever stopped to think about how those same dangers apply to your dog? You may love how happy your dog becomes when you give him a treat, or maybe you’re a sucker for hungry eyes, but either way, you may be shortening your dog’s life by giving in.
Here are 8 things you should know about obesity in dogs – you may be loving your dog to death.
1. Obesity Can Cause Permanent Damage…
…That can never be fixed, even with a change in diet and exercise. Extra weight can cause lasting damage to your pet’s internal organs, bones, and joints. While some damage is reversible, some isn’t. The sooner you can reverse your dog’s bad habits, the less likely it is they will suffer permanent consequences.
One way you can get your dog on a healthier track is by offering them fresh foods that arrive on your doorstep in already expertly portioned meals. And Ollie does just that. Working with a board-certified vet nutritionist, Ollie ensures your dog gets the exact number of calories needed based on weight, breed, age, activity level, and body composition.
If your dog is overweight and you want to help them shed some pounds, you can add an “ideal” weight into their Ollie profile, and they’ll re-portion your pup’s meals. It’s good to have help when your doggy has to go on a diet. Enjoy 60% off your first box from Ollie now!
2. You Should Be Able To Feel Your Dog’s Ribs
In most dog breeds, you shouldn’t necessarily be able to see their ribs, but you should always be able to feel them and the spine when your dog is standing. On most pets, there should be a tucked-in hourglass shape to the waist. If you can’t feel your dog’s ribs, it’s time for him to lose some weight.
3. Obesity Shortens Your Dog’s Life Span
A large study of Labrador Retrievers found that being even moderately overweight can reduce canine life expectancy by nearly two years compared to leaner dogs. That is a significant amount of time you could lose with your beloved pet, especially when you consider that the average dog’s life span is only 10-13 years to begin with.
4. Fat Tissue Secretes Inflammatory Hormones
It also creates oxidative stress on the body’s tissue. Both of these things contribute to many diseases. So body fat is more than just cushioning – it actively makes your dog sick. Obesity should be considered a chronic, low-level inflammatory condition.
Chronic inflammation can be harmful to canine health, but feeding your furry friend a diet of fresh whole foods packed with nutritious ingredients can bring their body back to balanced living. With Ollie, you can easily give your dog fresh recipes made from real meat, fruits, veggies, and grains. Plus, you’ll never find any of the fillers, by-products, or artificial flavors that can aggravate inflammation issues in their ingredients list. Whether your pup enjoys beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb, they’ll find a taste they love that helps their body feel lighter and leaner with Ollie.
5. Obese Dogs Are At Higher Risk For Multiple Diseases
Most of the preventable conditions listed below are life-threatening. Even those that are not causing pain can decrease your dog’s quality of life.
- Cancers of all types
- Heart disease and hypertension
- Bladder stones
- Exercise intolerance, decreased stamina
- Breathing difficulty
- Heat intolerance
- Liver disease or dysfunction
- Lowered immune system function
6. Changing Your Dog’s Diet Is Essential
If you decide your dog is obese and that it’s time to take action to increase his health and lifespan, you should talk to your veterinarian about changing his diet. Just reducing the amount of food you give your dog can cause malnutrition, so it’s important to discuss a high-quality diet and feeding schedule to help your dog lose weight in a healthy way.
7. You Don’t Have To Give Up The Snacks
As long as your vet approves, fresh or frozen green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower can make excellent snacks that will allow you to reward your dog without thwarting his weight loss attempts.
8. Exercise Should Be Increased Gradually
Just like overweight humans, obese dogs who have gotten used to being lazy will not suddenly be willing and able to run laps around the dog park. You should gradually take your dog on longer and more intense walks to build up their endurance.
Coupling exercise with a healthy diet will do wonders for your dog’s waistline. And whether your bestie needs to shed a few pounds or you’re looking to keep them lean, Ollie is there to help your dog feel their best through clean nutrition that only whole food ingredients can deliver.
To sign up with Ollie, simply build your pup’s profile and choose from meal plans tailored to your dog’s needs. Whether choosing fresh recipes or a blend of fresh and baked, know that either choice includes 100% human-grade ingredients and has been expertly balanced for complete nutrition. Then, Ollie ships yummy food straight to your door. Enjoy their free two-day shipping, and watch how excited your dog will be when you serve Ollie for dinner! Get 60% off your first box!
H/T: VCA Hospitals, PetMD