How many times have you seen the rounded belly of a Beagle, or the cute but sad waddle of the chubby Dachshund. The adorable Cocker Spaniel or Scottish Terrier that looks a lot like the ottoman from Beauty and the Beast. Those pleading eyes of the Labrador or Basset Hound that asks for another cookie, even though you just said no. I can not count the number of times I have had to stop myself from indulging them.I have seen quite a few of these particular breeds with three or more to extra pounds. They just have a higher incidence of being obese. Those extra cookies do not help when the weekend is spent on the sofa in dads lap.
Every single one of these breeds have things about them that makes us want to pamper them and give them treats or a little more for dinner or for a snack, but these breeds in particular tend to have the highest rate of obesity. If your companion pet is one of these breeds you should be a little more careful of their portion size.
Pets that are obese tend to have similar concerns as people who are overweight. They tend to have an increase in the number of diseases they are at risk of, and if they already have disease process going on, the extra weight tends to exacerbate the issue. Like us those extra pounds can increase the risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Some companion pets will get increased Blood Pressure and other circulatory related issues.
While having to carry around those extra love handles, certain breeds can end up with Degenerative Joint Disease due to the unnecessary stress put on them. A lighter dog will be happier and more willing to play and exercise a little longer. More activity can mean a more enjoyable life for our pets.
Did you know that obese dogs even have a higher risk of certain cancers? It is always hard when your beloved pet is diagnosed with an illness. Many questions begin to form in ones mind. but if your pet has been overweight for a majority of their life, one question might have to be, was this preventable?
Some other issues that have been associated with obesity include Dyspnea (Respiratory distress) and skin issues (Dermatological problems). For the problems we have listed above, They have all been disorders caused by obesity, but what about obesity caused by disorders. The first two that immediately pop into mind are a few endocrine diseases. Hypothyroidism and Hyperadrenocorticism. Your pets obesity can be caused by these underlying disease process. Diabetes Mellitus is the another one I think of.
After an evaluation by your pets doctor, your veterinarian may want to send out specific test to a lab or do bloodwork to determine that the extra weight is not because of one of the above mentioned diseases. If the cause is not a disease process then you may be recommended a specific diet regime to implement. Hopefully while following your pets doctor advice you will gradually see a great improvement in your pets quality of life.
Last, but not the least of the concern is that an overweight pet has a noticeable decrease in their lifespan. An extra year is a great exchange for a few less cookies. The time we have with our companion pets, to me, are not enough as it is. A healthy companion pet is most times a happy companion pet.