Obesity in dogs
Obesity is the condition of excessive accumulation of body fat and between 25 and 40 % of all the dogs in the world are considered obese. Obesity must be treated in order to prevent some further serious complications.
Causes of obesity in dogs
One of the most common causes of obesity in dogs is food. Apart from the food, the excess calories that are entered and physical inactivity are also potential causes for the occurrence of obesity in dogs. When you take more calories than it can be used for, the excess is stored as fat. There is also a predisposition for the disease, for example, race or genetic susceptibility. For instance, smaller breed dogs, like cocker spaniels, are at grater risk to develop obesity than the other breeds of dogs, or some larger breeds, such as, for example, Labrador retriever and golden retriever.
Sterilization does not always have to lead to obesity. Obesity more often appears after sexual maturity, while sterilization, in fact, only increases the chance for obesity due to certain hormonal changes, which occur after sterilization and which slow the metabolism down. Furthermore, obesity may occur in the cases when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, or adrenal glands produce excess hormones.
Age of dogs is also one of potential causes of obesity. The reason for that is related to the fact that as a dog is getting older, its metabolism is slowing down; therefore the metabolism of the dog is not so quick to convert food into energy as in younger dogs. Also older dogs are less active; they do not need extra energy for various activities, which is why they need to cut down calorie intake.
Many people keep their dogs in their houses. Because of business and family obligations the owners rarely bring the dog to walk and pay attention to them, which is why the dogs are forced to reduce their activity. The cause of obesity in dogs is their diet. They are often fed on food for dogs that is dry and does not require earlier processing and preparation. The food is represented as of high quality and also very tasty. If the food is constantly available to dogs to eat at will, then it can easily lead to obesity. If the dog is forced to stay in a small space, and therefore has a reduced physical activity, anxiety and stress may occur, which is also an additional reason that may lead to obesity.