There is a lot of speculation surrounding the reasons why pet obesity is so prevalent. In my experience, many pet parents find it difficult to understand the severity of seemingly small weight gain. Specifically, if a dog is supposed to weigh 18 pounds and they actually weigh 20 pounds, this might not seem like a big deal. However, this dog has gained 11% of its body weight. This is equivalent to a 135-pound woman gaining 15 pounds! Although this dog may not be obese, this weight gain may be enough to affect their health.
Obese and overweight dogs face a myriad of potential diseases and issues due to the extra weight they are carrying. Specifically, there are 5 main reasons why your dog needs to get in shape now:
Similar to humans, overweight dogs are at a higher risk for diabetes. Although dogs can live happy and healthy lives with diabetes, the disease will include a lifestyle change for both you and your pet. Controlling the disease so that your dog doesn’t experience the symptoms of diabetes requires daily insulin injections, changes in their diet, and an increase in exercise. Not to mention, having diabetes puts dogs at risk for even more diseases.
2. Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease)
One of the primary causes of DJD is excess or abnormal wear of the joints and cartilage. Obesity places undue stress on the joints, making them more susceptible to DJD. Although osteoarthritis can be treated and your dog can be made more comfortable, the degeneration of their joints will make mobility more difficult.