There’s nothing like the feeling of snuggling up with your pet on a drizzly Vancouver day. While our cuddly companions may be fun to cozy up with, it’s important to be aware of just how cuddly your pet is becoming. A squishy puppy face is impossible to resist, but if your dog is carrying excess weight, it’s not as cute as it seems. Obesity in dogs can lead to a whole host of dangerous and painful health problems. If you live in Metro Vancouver and you’re concerned about your dog’s weight, it might be time to connect with a dog care centre in Vancouver to get help. In the meantime, here are some tips on preventing, managing, and understanding obesity in dogs.

What exactly is obese?

Pets come in all shapes and sizes and the range of body styles from Chihuahua to Great Dane is incredibly vast. However, within each breed of dog, there is an ideal body weight determined by qualified veterinarians across the globe. Dogs who have a body weight exceeding 10-20% of their ideal average are said to be overweight. On the other hand, dogs that carry weight exceeding 20% more than their ideal average are considered obese. If you live in the Vancouver area, you can reach out to a dog care centre in Vancouver to have your pet properly weighed and determine if they are at risk for obesity. At home, you can be on the lookout for signs that your pet is struggling with its extra body weight. If your pet is reluctant to go for walks, struggles to get in and out of a vehicle, or if they’re panting more than usual, these could all be signs. Another way to observe if your pet is overweight is to look carefully at its anatomy. If you can’t easily see or feel the spine, waist, or ribs, they could have too much extra fat surrounding these structures.

What could be causing my pet’s obesity?

Although the beautiful Lower Mainland is home to no shortage of outdoor spaces to explore with our pets, it’s also a very busy place for families and workplaces. We can’t always find the time to ensure our pets are getting an appropriate amount of exercise to maintain their healthiest body weight. Inactivity is not the only cause of obesity, however. There are many other causes including age, nutrition, feeding practices, as well as a host of health issues. Some conditions like Cushing’s or Hypothyroidism can have side effects like weight gain and tiredness in dogs. In some cases, your pet’s weight gain can be addressed through some simple diet changes. It could be that their dog food is too high in carbohydrates and not high enough in protein and good fats.  The best way to have your pet screened for these diseases and get to the root cause of their obesity is to work with a qualified veterinarian at a dog care centre in Vancouver.

One of the best ways to help keep your animals healthy is to make sure they have access to routine health care at a trusted veterinary clinic. Ensuring your dog is sitting at a healthy body weight for their breed and age starts with a healthy diet, an appropriate amount of exercise, and good feeding habits. Working with experts at a dog care centre in Vancouver to put those routines in place is the best thing you can do to keep the extra pounds off your pup.