Just like how we humans suffer from obesity, so too do our dear pooches suffer from excess weight gain.
While admittedly there are cases where dogs should gain weight, the best way to maintain good pet health is to ensure your pooch has healthy and not overweight.
No dog should have a dog fat percentage above 25%.
Obesity in Dogs
Weight gain or excess accumulation of body fat can be defined as obesity. According to some studies, 25% -40% of dogs are either obese or have full chances of becoming obese.
By far, the most common nutritional health condition in domesticated animals, especially dogs, obesity is brought up due to a sedentary and lazy lifestyle.
Lack of proper exercise, just like in humans, and regular intake of high amount of calories that far exceeded the amount required when energy is not expended, leads to storage or accumulation of fat in your dog affecting pet health.
Pet health care is necessary to ensure that your dog get proper exercise routinely. As little as 1% intake of extra calories results in over 25% increase over the required body weight by the time your dog reaches middle age.
As a dog owner, you must realize that pet heath care is of paramount importance and if you sense your dog becoming lazy, has difficulty breathing or can not walk properly, you must take it to a vet for a proper physical examination.
Since canine obesity can not be easily detected early on, you may never know that your pet health is at risk until a historical review of the dog's body weight is carried out.
Also an increasing problem of late is where pet owners like to have fat dogs, claiming that it 'shows' how well loved they are. This is a very dangerous mindset that some pet owners take - be sure to not fall into that category!
Causes of Weight Gain in Dogs
Every pet owner must try to find out the real causes due to which their pet health is affected due to weight gain.
Typically, weight gain is common for dogs whose owners tend to give more treasures to their pets than is healthy, or that a new owner gives his dog high calorie dog food, while NOT concurrently exercising their dog (i.e taking them for walks)
Some pet owners even believe that their lazy dog is a happy and content pooch. So, while for now Fido may be pleased, neither you, the pet owner, nor the canine, will be happy due to pet health care neglect.
Weight gain can be brought on due to a host of reasons. In many cases the sudden increase in weight is a sign of underlying pet health problems such as hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease among many others.
As part of the pet health care routine, it's crucial that you get your pet evaluated medically and then start to work on reducing the increased weight, outlined below.
Importance Of Healthy Diet
Reducing the overall food intake is a safer bet than putting the pooch on a dog diet.
The best way to treat weight gain is to reduce the dog's daily food intake by approximately 25% and spread it out over a long period of time for best pet health.
(Ex: if you feed your dog 4 cups of food in the evening then spread it out by giving one cup each in the morning, mid afternoon, and evening)
Finally, make sure pet health care is maintained by exercising your plump pal though take care not to work him too hard. Daily walks will lead to regular weight loss and do not allow you pet to lose more than 5-8% of its initial weight every month.
Having a dog losing weight is great, but you don't want your dog to lose TOO much weight at a go - that could potentially endanger its life.
There are also some specialty overweight dog diets that might help, but typically these are just fads. There is nothing more beneficial to your overweight dog than regular exercise, as well as a good dog diet.
How to help your dog gain weight?
Before you stone me, hear me out. As mentioned earlier, there are exceptions to when a dog SHOULD gain weight - specifically, when they're rescued from shelters or in the wild, and are desperately trying to just survive.
Typically, dogs in these conditions are often severely underweight, and if wild, likely hosting some form of diseases and parasites that constantly drain their weight.
This is the only case where any weight gain in dogs are mandatory - to help nurse them back to health and get them adopted and loved as soon as possible!