The Effects of K9 Obesity

Posted: November 3, 2010 by at K9 Health & Fitness

Obesity causes many health problems in our dogs. Not only that, but research suggests that being excessively generous around the middle shortens a dog’s lifespan by as much as two years. So, an overweight dog doesn’t live as long as a lean animal, and their quality of life is significantly reduced.

It is easy to understand why excess pounds in body weight often lead to degenerative joint disease and arthritis. The excess weight results in wear and tear on the cartilage of the joint, which is painful.

Obesity can also cause heart disease in dogs, as the heart muscle works extra hard to keep the blood circulating through an overweight body. Dogs with heart disease have to live with shortness of breath, coughing and reduced ability to exercise.

Diabetes in people is associated with obesity, and our dogs are no different. One of the first things you’ll notice if your dog becomes diabetic is that they will drink a lot of water. Your dog may need daily insulin injections to keep their blood sugar levels under control.

There is one condition that is associated with obesity in dogs, and isn’t often thought about. Overweight dogs often have excess folds of skin where moisture accumulates. This is an ideal environment for bacterial overgrowth and infection, which is painful and smelly.

From your dog’s perspective, obesity really affects their enjoyment of life, and how long they live. From your perspective, dog obesity can cost you a great deal both in time and money. Daily doses of insulin, heart medications and pain relief for sore joints can all add up to a big monthly veterinary bill. Infected skin folds need regular bathing, and you may need to apply ointment once or twice a day to keep the infection under control.

In Summary – Save your time, save your money and ultimately save your dog’s life by preventing them from becoming overweight in the first place. If they are already a little generous around the middle, make the effort to trim them down. It is worth it, for both of you.