Obesity Diseases In Golden Retriever Dogs 

Obesity Diseases In Golden Retriever Dogs 

Obesity Diseases In Golden Retriever Dogs

Obesity diseases in Golden Retriever dogs are on the rise and pose a major health concern for your furry friend. Resisting those big pleading Golden Retriever eyes can be difficult, but don’t give in!

Overfeeding results in overweight dogs, which directly affects a dog’s quality of life. Quite simply, obesity will shorten your Golden Retriever’s life.

Statistics On Obesity Diseases In Dogs

Unless you have a finicky pooch (not likely with a Golden!), your dog is probably overweight. A 2006 article in The Journal of Nutrition reported that an estimated 25 to 40 percent of American household pets are obese. That number could possibly be as high as 70 percent.

Current research on obesity indicates those figures are continuing to rise. A common definition of obesity is when a dog’s weight is at least 20 percent higher than his ideal body weight.

Here’s another way to think of it: An extra 10 pounds on your should-be-65-pound overweight Golden Retriever would be comparable to an extra 20 pounds on a woman who should weigh 120.

Avoid Obesity Diseases In Dogs — Check Out His Shape

Avoid Obesity Diseases Dogs -How do you tell if Chunky Charlie is “just fat” or would more accurately be called an obese Golden Retriever dog?

These tests can help you determine if your dog is fighting (and losing) the battle of the bulge and may be at risk for obesity diseases:

  • Put your hands on his back with your fingers curled around his rib cage.
  • You should be able to feel his ribs (using very light pressure), even under a lot of hair.
  • When you stand over him and look down, your dog should have a defined waistline behind his rib cage and in front of his hind legs.
  • You should see a curve in his body where his “waist” would be.

Those Dreaded Canine Obesity Diseases

Now that you’ve determined your Golden Retriever dog has a weight problem, let’s look at some canine health problems that could be lurking in his future.

You can easily see that your dog is pudgier than he should be. But what you can’tsee is the layers of fat piling up deep inside of him.

One of the greatest dangers to your dog (and the most common result of obesity)is a heart muscle that’s been weakened by accumulated fat deposits (just like with people).

Equally dangerous is a liver that can’t purify your Golden Retriever dog’s body of toxins because of all the fat deposits in and around it.

Or he could end up with a pancreas that can’t produce vital enzymes and hormones because of fat interference.

Some of the most common canine obesity diseases include the following:

  • Diabetes in dogs occurs more frequently when they’re overweight.
  • Packing around extra pounds can damage your pooch’s tendons and ligaments, and create obesity diseases of the joints.
  • Canine osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis in dogs, is worse in fat dogs due to stress on their joints.
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia can be triggered or aggravated by excess weight.
  • Bodyfold dermatitis causes redness, oozing and itching in those skin folds on your dog that shouldn’t be there (like his “love handles”).
  • Obesity can cause a herniated disc or increase the pain of an existing one.
  • It could even result in your dog’s partial or total paralysis from disc problems.

Cut Down on the Kibble to Reduce the Risk of Obesity Diseases In Dogs

Cut Down on the Kibble to Reduce the Risk of Obesity Diseases In DogsThe causes of obesity are pretty straightforward. Ruling out any possible health issues (such as thyroid imbalance), it’s simply a matter of too many calories in and too few calories used.

Dividing your dog’s rations into smaller, more frequent meals (three or four times a day instead of once or twice a day) should make him feel fuller. The next step is to decrease the total amount you’re feeding him by at least one-third.

Consider weaning your dog onto an overweight dog food to help lessen the risk of developing obesity diseases. It has the same balanced nutritional requirements, minus the extra calories and fat, plus extra fiber. Eating high fiber dog foods will help your dog feel fuller and more satisfied.

You should consult your veterinarian before putting your Golden Retriever dog on a weight-loss program in your quest to reduce the risk of obesity diseases. He’ll want to check for other medical problems first, and record your dog’s starting weight on his medical chart.

He can also offer some valuable advice as to the best diet for a dog needing to pare a few pounds. He’ll want to see your Golden Retriever dog periodically to evaluate his progress and adjust his diet as necessary.

Most veterinarians are happy to have you bring your dog in for a free monthly weigh-in, where the staff can keep track of his weight on a chart in his medical record.

Our vet has this great free service, with the scales located conveniently just inside the front door.

Exercise Regularly To Avoid Obesity Diseases

Dog Breed Activities For Golden Retriever Dogs 1Food and water are only part of the weight loss equation. Exercise has a lot to do with it, too.

Golden Retriever Dogs can become sedentary in their middle years, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain and related canine obesity diseases. This is a time when they should be enjoying life, not turning into four-legged couch potatoes.

Getting involved in dog sports such as agility, musical freestyle, and flyball can make a big difference in your dog’s quality of life, contributing to both physical and mental health.

Or you might just go for a daily walk or two, which is certainly better than no exercise at all.

Scientists have recently discovered that if you exercise with your dog, you both lose weight! Amazing logic, isn’t it?

Prevention -– Avoid Obesity Diseases In Golden Retriever Dogs Altogether

Obesity prevention is a lot easier than treating the resulting diseases. One simple way to help your Golden Retriever dog avoid the obesity diseases caused by weight gain is to limit his consumption of commercial treats, which are usually high in fat.

Raw, washed vegetables are actually a good snack for your dog (and you, too!). In fact, carrots have the added benefit of giving him chewing exercise.

When your dog comes around with that begging look in his big brown eyes, don’t just toss him a biscuit or refill his food dish. He isn’t looking for food as much as he’s craving your attention. (OK, maybe he wants both!)

Instead of sharing fattening snacks, share yourselfwith your dog–play fetch, practice a dog sport, or go for a walk. There are more ways to a Golden’s heart than through his stomach!

Wouldn’t you like your Chunky Charlie to live longer and avoid a whole laundry list of obesity diseases? Then cut back on the kibble and hit the road!

Kept lean, your Golden Retriever dog will stay active and healthy well into his senior years.

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