Overfeeding Your Puppy According to these veterinary experts, overfeeding can lead to a lifetime of health problems, as overweight puppies are more likely to grow into overweight or obese adult dogs. Overfeeding can also contribute to joint and orthopedic problems and ultimately lead to a shorter life span. It should come as no surprise that, like people, puppies who eat more calories than they burn gain weight. Although a chubby puppy can be very cute, it can cause numerous health problems.
We'll also show you how to help your fat puppy lose those unwanted pounds in the healthiest way possible. A puppy is generally defined as being less than one year old. However, different races develop at a different rate. Larger dogs take longer to reach their adult weight than smaller dogs.
The growth rate during the first year is not constant either. According to this study, energy needs decrease considerably from the time they are weaned until they approach adulthood. That's why it's important to feed your pet food appropriate for their age and breed size. Unfortunately, today's dogs often don't get enough exercise.
Combine this with too many high-calorie treats for dogs and food for people, and it's not hard to see why obesity is the most common medical condition in dogs. In general, older dogs are more likely to gain weight than puppies, but there are certain breeds that are predisposed to obesity. The reason some breeds are more likely to gain weight than others is largely due to genetics. A dog is considered obese when it weighs 20% more than the breed average.
Unfortunately, many of our favorite dog breeds are prone to genetic obesity. The dachshund, with its short legs and long back, is susceptible to intervertebral disc disease (IVD) as well as obesity. Up to 24% of all sausage dogs show signs of this debilitating condition. When a dachshund is overweight, they are also at greater risk of having back problems.
So keeping them fit and feeding them enough is vital. The English Bulldog is susceptible to a long list of health problems due to its body shape. What's even worse, because they're brachycephalic and prone to respiratory problems, they can't exercise much. This makes it even harder for them to lose weight.
Since Chihuahuas are so small, even an extra pound can make a difference. To put it into perspective, if your Chi puppy weighs 4 pounds and gains a pound, it's as if you gain 25% more body weight. Another problem is that these puppies are often carried in their arms instead of exercising. Food for humans can also cause problems in your tiny digestive systems, which were not designed to process them.
Your breeder or veterinarian will be able to give you a range of what your puppy should weigh depending on their age and breed. However, putting it on the scale is not the only way, or even the best, to determine if your puppy is fat. Ideally, when you place your hands on both sides of your rib cage and apply gentle pressure, you should be able to feel your ribs. However, the ribs should not be clearly visible, as this is often a sign of underweight.
Your puppy should have a slit in the waist between the ribs and hips. This is easier to detect if you look at it from above. You can also check that its waist folds when viewed from the side. If you can't feel their ribs or you see a slimmer waist than their hips, then it's very likely that your puppy is overweight.
At this point, a visit to the vet is in order. This is to rule out any underlying health problems and also to have them checked prior to changing your diet or exercise regimen. Most people choose to sterilize or neuter their puppy to avoid unwanted litters and aggressive behavior. It has also been shown to lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
However, spaying and neutering can also cause your puppy to gain weight. This study found that castrated males and sterilized females have the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity. Unless you decrease food and increase exercise after surgery, you are likely to gain weight in adulthood. As you already know, being overweight is not good for anyone, not even for puppies.
However, it is important to fully understand how harmful carrying extra pounds can be for your pet. Even moderately overweight dogs are at greater risk of shortening life expectancy. This crippling condition is very common, especially for larger breeds. This study found that hip dysplasia occurred more frequently, more severely and at a younger age, in dogs that had rapid weight gain.
In addition to putting stress on your musculoskeletal system, extra pounds can cause or exasperate numerous serious health conditions. This includes diabetes, heart disease, urinary and reproductive disorders, respiratory diseases, skin disorders, and some types of cancer. As stated, it's important to take your puppy to the vet before changing their diet. Your puppy won't be happy with it, but you'll have to eliminate those tasty treats.
You may not realize how quickly calories accumulate in processed dog treats. This also means that they should not receive leftovers from the table and other forms of food for people. Make sure everyone in your family understands how important it is for your puppy to lose weight for their health and well-being. Since you're probably in the process of training your puppy and using treats as a reward, it means finding a healthier, lower calorie option.
When you prepare your own homemade dog treats, it allows you to control the ingredients. Apples, carrots and watermelon are natural low-calorie foods that are excellent. Start feeding your puppy less food at every meal. For four days in a row, you should receive a third less food than you were receiving.
For example, if you were eating a cup of food twice a day, reduce the amount to two-thirds of a cup for each meal. After four days, check if you have lost weight by checking if you can feel your ribs. If there is no noticeable difference, repeat the process for another three or four days and check again. Repeat until you can see his waist and feel his rib cage as you press along his sides.
At this point, your puppy should have lost some weight. You may even need to increase your meal so that you are not underweight. On the other hand, if you haven't lost weight, you may need to further reduce your calorie intake. However, it is recommended to consult with your veterinarian before doing so.
While food intake will make the biggest difference in your puppy's weight, increasing the amount of exercise can also help them lose extra pounds. This study found that every hour of weekly exercise decreased the chances of obesity. Walking and playing longer will not only help your dog stay fit and active, but it's also a good way to bond with your puppy. However, intense exercise is not for all races.
This is especially important if your puppy is brachycephalous. Having a flat face is often the source of serious respiratory problems. For this reason, these dogs should never exercise too much. We have seen that one of the main reasons puppies are overweight is overeating.
So, you might want to take a look at some of our feeding guides if you're looking for tips on how to avoid an overweight puppy. The best way to care for your fat puppy is to help him lose weight. This must happen safely and gradually. Have your veterinarian always check your puppy before drastically changing their diet.
There could be underlying reasons for weight gain. You may find it very difficult to eliminate their beloved treats, but remember that you do it for their own good. Adding extra exercise to your daily routine can also melt unwanted pounds. Helping you lose weight while you are still young and active will be much easier than when you are an adult dog.
Association for the Prevention of Obesity in Pets Hawthorne, AJ. Canine obesity should be seen as a serious problem and one that can no longer be ignored. The dilemma is that an overweight dog is more difficult to exercise, since obesity leads to respiratory and musculoskeletal problems that also have a negative impact on the dog's quality of life and an already short life expectancy. Obesity can also increase the risk of other chronic diseases, such as canine diabetes and heart disease, making canine obesity a major health problem in veterinary medicine.
The earliest predictive marker was thought to be 2 weeks after birth, where puppies that had a growth rate greater than 125% were found to be significantly more likely to be in the “overweight” group; a finding comparable to human studies, which have shown that High weight gain at the beginning stages of life is associated with the development of adult obesity. Very small puppies almost never need a reducing diet, but young teens who become plump can benefit from dietary advice for fat puppies. . .