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Putting Excessive Pet Weight into Perspective

Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day and even though dogs don’t look in the mirror and see weight gain the way we do, they still suffer the consequences of excessive weight just like their human counterparts. They too can feel the effects of being out of shape, like breathing heavy after a long walk.

Weight loss is a prevalent concern in today’s world. From diets to exercise, we hear about how losing weight can have countless benefits on our lives; so why not extend the discussion to our dogs? Overweight dogs have the potential to lead healthier lives–expanding their lifespan by up to 2.5 years. The only difference is, they don’t know it. So it’s up to us, their best friends, to help them out.

Over the years, your dog may have added a few extra pounds to their frame. While they may still be wagging their tail and playing, perhaps they are a bit more sluggish than in their younger days. A few pounds may seem small in comparison to your pet’s big personality, but an increase on the scale in any amount can mean a significant risk to your dog’s well-being. Sometimes the hardest part of fixing your pet’s weight is understanding the severity of the issue and the threat to your furry friend.

Simple everyday activities can become incredibly difficult for your dog with all the extra weight. Weight gain isn’t always a rapid change we can instantly see- it can happen slowly. You may not even notice the extra weight accumulating on your pet, but according Association for Pet Obesity Prevention1, every extra pound a female Labrador adds is equivalent to 4-5 pounds on a human!

While the conversation on weight loss usually centers around appearance, it is so much more than that to an animal. Little changes in weight can make vast differences. Unfortunately, negative health effects are not a question of “if” they will happen, but “when” they will happen. When overweight, your dog is at an increased risk of back problems, kidney disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and more. So, loving dog parent, take the first step in helping your best friend increase their quality of life. Start the discussion about weight loss with your vet today.

 

1https://petobesityprevention.org/news/2010/8/2/pet-to-human-weight-translator

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