Mar
06
2017

The Dangers of Overfeeding Your Dog

The Dangers of Overfeeding Your DogJust like humans, your dog needs to have nutritional balance to function properly. While many loving dog owners want to spoil their pup with food scraps and a few extra bites of food, this can lead to a whole host of issues – namely obesity – which are dangerous and difficult to resolve. A dog that maintains a healthy weight and exercises frequently will have a happier and healthier life than one that is overweight. Therefore, we’re going to explore the dangers of overfeeding your dog in order to reduce Dog Owner Liability.

Overweight dogs are prone to obesity, diabetes, knee and joint issues, inflammatory diseases, poor bone density, and more. While any animal can be predisposed to obesity, pets that lead sedentary lifestyles and consume extra calories are at the highest risk of being obese. Unfortunately, a large number of pets are currently overweight or obese regardless of their breeding, states Pet MD. In addition, these conditions can make recovery from illness or surgery even more difficult for your dog.

With all of these symptoms at stake, it’s critical to feed your pet nutritious food. First, consult with your veterinarian to ensure you are feeding him the proper food and the right amount. Here are some other helpful ways to reduce your pet’s weight.

  • Read food labels – Much like you read the labels for ingredients you put into your own body, you can do the same for your dog. Look for labels that are properly formulated to nourish your dog during puppyhood, gestation, lactation, breeding, and adulthood. The calories and protein value should be reflective of their needs so they don’t gain weight unnecessarily.
  • Reduce treats and scraps – This is a bad habit that can be difficult to break for pet owners. Refrain from giving your dog table scraps and break up his treats into smaller portions to give throughout the day rather than all at once.
  • Gradually increase exercise – Naturally, if your dog is overweight, he is likely not the most athletic animal. Therefore, gradually increase his walks and frequency of exercise to build up his tolerance and stamina. Start small and purchase interactive toys that will promote his engagement throughout the day, then focus on longer walks and trips to the dog park. However, before doing so, read about how to avoid the common dangers of dog parks here.
  • Weigh in frequently – Weight gain happens gradually, so weigh your dog frequently to monitor his progress.

In addition to obvious health concerns, it’s important to note that unhealthy dogs are also subject to worse mental and behavioral health. For example, “A cat or dog that can run and jump will be much happier and have much better mental and physical health,” explains Dr. Sarah Carter, DVM at the MSPCA Angell Shalit-Glazer Clinic. Therefore, properly feeding your pet and monitoring his weight can impact all areas of his life, not just his physical health. A healthy pet is a happy pet at the end of the day!

About FIDO

There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 534-6495.

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