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Managing your dog’s weight

Stave off obesity with a specialized diet

You love your dog and want them to have a long and healthy life. That’s why it’s so important to manage their weight and keep them from becoming overweight or obese. An ideal weight will keep your precious pooch by your side for years to come.

Read on for advice from your Globalvet team on managing your dog’s weight and recommendations on specialized foods that can help.

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Obesity: A huge problem for your dog and their health

Consider this: According to a U.S. study conducted in 2018, over 55% of dogs are overweight or obese. How do you tell if your dog’s one of them?

If they weigh 10% to 20% more than their ideal weight, they’re considered overweight. Beyond 20%, they’re tipping the scales into obesity. That means that if your dog’s ideal weight is 55 pounds, they’re overweight at between 60.5 and 66 pounds and obese at more than 66 pounds.

Carrying extra weight is a heavy burden for your dog in other ways. It can put added stress on their heart, lungs, and joints or even aggravate pre-existing conditions. Read our post (in French), 5 bonnes raisons de garder son animal à son poids santé, to learn five good reasons to keep your pet at a healthy weight.

To keep your faithful friend healthy and happy, you have to keep an eye on their weight. But how? Weighing them at home isn’t accurate enough because their morphology, breed, and other factors can impact their target weight. Instead, watch for certain small but telling signs like when:

  • You can’t feel their ribs when you run your hand along their side
  • Their belly is distended when viewed from the side
  • You can’t see your dog’s waist when viewed from above

If you notice any of these signs, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you determine if your dog is overweight, establish an ideal target weight, and develop a strategy for reaching it. For more details, check out the body condition score chart created by WSAVA.

Choosing specialized dog food for weight management: Benefits and advice

Reduce the risk of obesity-related illness and issues to keep your dog healthy

Being overweight or obese is linked to serious, life-altering illnesses in dogs, like:

  • Heart and respiratory problems
  • Diabetes
  • A weakened immune system
    • A higher risk of infection and illness
  • Osteoarticular disorders like arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Calcium oxalate bladder stones

Obese dogs are also more likely to:

  • Become lethargic
  • Lack motivation and energy
  • Expend less effort exercising, playing, etc.

With specialized weight loss or weight management food, you can help your dog regain or retain their ideal weight, so they’ll be better able to ward off health problems.

Help your faithful friend live a longer, happier life by your side

Did you know that a proper diet can make your dog live longer? That’s right! Keeping them healthy and at an ideal weight can help your canine companion age gracefully and add years to their lifespan. That’s good news for both of you!

According to one study, dogs kept at their ideal body weight live 1.8 years longer than their slimmer peers. That’s almost two extra years to spend with your faithful friend! What better reason to feed your dog a balanced diet centred on quality dog food formulated for weight maintenance (or loss)?

To see the findings of the study on obesity and life expectancy, click the links below:

Maintain joint health to keep them moving

An overweight dog is twice as likely to eventually suffer from osteoarthritis as a trim one. Is your paunchy pooch already struggling with arthritis? Losing weight could help alleviate their symptoms.

Obesity and arthritis feed on each other and can create a vicious cycle of pain and discomfort. By feeding your dog a special weight maintenance formula, you can help them get back to their target weight, breaking the cycle or avoiding it completely!

Help your dog maintain a healthy weight for better quality of life

You want to give your furry friend the best of the best and a long, happy, healthy life. Well, keeping them fit and trim has a direct impact on their quality of life. Why? Because the more they move, the livelier they’ll be, the fewer health problems they’ll have, and the better they’ll feel in body and mind.

Studies show that slim dogs enjoy a superior quality of life compared to their pudgy peers. Dogs that lose weight will also be more physically comfortable, active, and playful.

More good reasons for you to carefully monitor your dog’s weight and feed them a proper diet designed for weight loss or maintenance!

Helping your dog shed those extra pounds

Your dog may be predisposed to being overweight or obese due to certain factors—some within your control and some not. They include:

  • Breed
    • Some breeds, like Labrador retrievers, are more susceptible to weight gain.
    • Miniature dog breeds are also at higher risk.
  • Age
    • Mature, less active dogs are more likely to put on pounds.
  • Sex
    • Female dogs are more prone to being overweight.
  • If they’ve been sterilized
    • Sterilized dogs are twice as likely to become obese because they tend to lead a more sedentary lifestyle.
    • But don’t let that keep you from getting your pup sterilized! Find out why in our post (in French), Tout savoir sur la stérilisation de son animal. Just monitor their weight instead.
  • Eating habits
    • Table scraps and people food can also cause obesity, so resist those puppy-dog eyes and stick to the occasional treat.
    • If your dog free feeds, they’re more likely to eat more than they actually need.
  • Exercise
    • If your dog stays inside a lot and doesn’t get much exercise, their risk of obesity increases.

So how do you help your dog maintain or regain their ideal weight? By feeding them a proper diet that meets their energy needs and making sure they get regular exercise. Your veterinary team is here to help. They can offer expert advice and tools to keep your dog at a healthy weight.

Together you and your vet can build a weight management or weight loss regimen tailored to your and your dog’s specific needs, issues, and habits. It will include:

  • Specialized food for weight management
  • Feeding strategies for a more active approach and a balanced diet
  • Ideas on ways to get your dog exercising more

Find special weight management formulas for your dog in our stores

Every Globalvet clinic store carries multiple lines of specialized foods to help you manage your dog’s weight. Find the vet-recommended formula that’s right for Rover in one of our stores or online.

Need advice on pet food?

Contact your local clinic or visit our online store.


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