A pet being overweight or obese can result in many health problems, such as gastrointestinal problems. Other problems in pets who are overweight are stomach ulcers, more constipation and flatulence. Obesity in pets also increases their risk of cancer as there is a fifty per cent occurrence of cancer in obese dogs than in dogs that are healthy.
A further risk to a dog’s health is the reduction in liver function. This is caused in obese dogs by the build-up of fat occurring in the liver which compromises the liver’s ability to function. Obesity also exacerbates hypertension (high blood pressure), which in turn increases the possibility of heart, kidney and vascular disease as well.
Life quality is also reduced. Carrying extra weight also has a bad effect as dogs who are overweight struggle to get up or down, become breathless or tire more quickly and are more unlikely to want to play. It is a known fact that dogs who are obese suffer from substantial harm regarding cardiopulmonary function, blood oxygen saturation and heart rate.
It is a good idea to consult your veterinarian to assist you in drawing up a diet plan for your overweight dog. It will be a long haul to follow the vet’s advice and you should not expect results overnight but your efforts will be rewarded as your dog will be a lot more active as well as happier and healthier.
It can be problematic to decide on the right amount of food that your dog requires but it’ll be best to begin by looking at your dog’s condition. Should your dog be overweight it is obvious that they will require less food whereas should your dog be too thin, more nourishment is required. Additionally, the quantity of food required by your dog will also be determined by the amount of exercise he has.
As an example, if your dog runs around the yard all day, he will definitely need to be fed more than a 10 year old dog who sleeps all day and hardly ever even gets taken for a walk. Therefore, it is not feasible to determine the amount a six month old dog should be fed or how much an adult male dog would require.
Generally, the rule to follow with feeding of an adult dog that is in good health would be approximately two to four per cent of its weight per day and make changes as required. Should your dog be overweight, it would be best to begin on the lower side of 2% but should your dog need to add a bit of weight, then begin near to the 4% range. You can also make a decision based on looking at your dog – should he be appearing to look a bit thin, then increase his meat allowance. Puppies could need up to ten per cent of their weight per day while they are growing. Whilst a raw diet is best for a growing puppy, bear in mind that they cannot eat bones like an adult dog is able to.