Obesity in dogs: what to do?

Concerning dog obesity, a study carried out on the weight of dogs in France shows that 30% of them are overweight. Unfortunately, this is a situation that can be found in all Western countries. In these countries, the overweight is more important because of overeating, but also because of the richness of nutrients. The life expectancy of an obese dog is then considerably reduced. This is why it is important to regularly check the weight of your dog by weighing it.

Obesity in dogs: what to do?

How do I know if my dog is overweight?

A dog should not exceed 10 to 15% of its ideal weight. However, it is not enough to visualize your dog's silhouette to know if his weight is appropriate. This is not reliable since the eye cannot notice a slight weight gain. Apart from weighing your dog on a scale, we can check his weight by feeling his bones. Simply feel the ribs, hips, and shoulders of the dog. Make sure that the bones are neither too prominent nor too non-existent. On the other hand, the abdominal mass should not be too important. If in doubt, you can talk to your veterinarian.

Obesity in Dogs: How to make your dog lose weight?

To remedy the problem of an overweight dog, it is best to avoid dieting or starving your dog by drastically reducing its daily ratio. The frustration generated would only increase the dog's search for food. He may then be more likely to rummage through the garbage, steal food and look for all the garbage on walks. We also avoid diet kibbles that are mostly marketing. In fact, these kibbles are not very effective in helping your dog lose weight. Here are some pointers to assist your canine to lose weight.

The methods to be favored

  • Increase physical activity: Take your dog for longer walks. Sign up for sports sessions such as can-cross or agility for example. He needs to be exercised on a regular basis to be beneficial.
  • Choose a good diet: To remedy obesity in your dog, it is advisable to reduce or even eliminate carbohydrates from his food. Reduce caloric intake by decreasing the quantity of the rations. To do this, it is possible to replace them with green vegetables (green beans, broccoli, zucchini, etc). It is also possible to rehydrate the kibble, which allows for more volume in the ration. The dog will therefore feel fuller more quickly.
  • Enriching the environment: Hide the dog's food so that he will look for it in order to allow him to slow down his meal intake. A dog that eats slowly will feel full faster. There are digging mats and food dispensers. These mats help the most gluttonous dogs to eat more slowly.
  • Provide chewing in the ration: Chewing is an important need for the dog. It will be deducted from the ration and will allow the dog to have a snack during his day. This will prevent him from craving food.

Last advice 

Sterilization is the biggest cause of obesity in dogs. It is advisable, before considering sterilization or castration, that the dog has already reached an ideal weight. If not, it is better to lose weight before the operation and to check the weight of the dog after the sterilization.

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