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Canine Obesity

Is your canine buddy getting a bit round? If so, Fido may need to drop a few pounds. Although your pet may still be adorable if he’s on the pudgy side, he’ll be much healthier if he stays at or near his ideal weight. Below, a North Phoenix, AZ vet discusses obesity in dogs.

Health Risks

Dogs that are overweight or obese face many serious health risks, including heart disease, kidney problems, skin issues, liver trouble, and diabetes. Those extra pounds can contribute to or aggravate painful bone joint disorders, such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. They also increase Fido’s risks of having post-surgical complications and developing certain types of cancer, and can even shorten his lifespan.

Causes of Obesity

As you may have guessed, your furry friend’s diet plays a huge role in his weight. Feed your pup a good, high-quality dog food, but don’t overindulge him. Even giving your four-legged buddy a few too many calories a day can make him pack on the pounds! Some breeds are more prone to gaining weight than others are, particularly as they grow older. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including portion sizes.

Keeping Fido Fit

Making sure your pup gets enough activity is very important! Your dog’s exercise needs will depend on his age, weight, health, and breed, so ask your vet for recommendations. Most dogs need daily walks, at the very least. Our canine buddies also benefit from fun play sessions. If you’re not very active yourself, keep Fido moving by playing fun games like fetch, which will have your pet running around while you stay stationary.

Begging

We can’t really discuss canine obesity without addressing the fact that Fido is very, very good at getting us to feed him yummy—and often fattening—snacks. Those big sad eyes can be hard to resist! However, begging is bad doggy manners. If you absolutely can’t resist your furry pal’s theatrics, pull a bait-and-switch, and offer him a carrot instead of that meatball he wants.

Chubby Pup?

Do you have a furry little (or not so little) butterball on your hands? Consult your vet before making any changes to your pup’s diet. Fido will have to slim down slowly in order to lose weight safely.

Do you know or suspect that your pet needs to lose weight? We can help! Contact us, your North Phoenix, AZ animal clinic, anytime!

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