Is Your Elderly Dog Overweight?

Now that your pooch has entered her golden years she needs more tender loving care than ever. Like people, dogs and cats tend to put on weight, as they grow older. A few pounds here and there might not make that much of a difference but too much extra weight can cause health problems and limit mobility.

Many older dogs suffer from such conditions as hip dysplasia, heart disease or other health problems. Too much extra weight can add to already existent heath problems, increasing their severity. Older dogs are naturally less active therefore they don’t get as much exercise and tend to pack on the pounds more easily. You may need to adapt your dog’s diet to meet the needs of her changing body.

People tend to overfeed their pets. More food does not automatically mean your pet is getting better or even proper nutrition. Empty calories can easily add weight without providing essential nutrients. A hefty pooch is not necessarily healthier than a slim dog. In fact, most dogs and cats usually maintain a fairly sleek shape.

Veterinarians often describe a dog’s natural body contour as being somewhat hourglass shaped slimming out toward the rear. If your dog is bulging at the midriff or carrying a wide caboose he could be overweight. Of course, size and shape does vary according to breed.

People often tend to equate thin with undernourished and meaty with health but this is certainly not true in all cases. If you feel that your pet is under or overweight see your veterinarian to allay your fears or concerns. Your vet can suggest dietary changes to suit your pet’s individual needs. If your pet has any existing health conditions it is always best to consult the veterinarian before making any changes to the animal’s regular diet.

Limited mobility is another problem that plagues aging pets and excess weight can make it even more difficult for them to get around. Many aging pets suffer from arthritis. The stiffness in their joints makes it difficult to go upstairs. Dragging around extra pounds only adds to their difficulty. Obesity can also be a strain on the heart of an elderly pet. This can be even more dangerous for a pet that already suffers from heart disease.

If your dog has a weight problem talk to your vet. Helping your canine companion to shed a few pounds can be beneficial to his health. A trimmer physique can help him to be a little more comfortable in his golden years.

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  1. so funny you wrote about this today. I was just talking about how fat my 10-yr-old cat is getting. I cant decide if its because he’s inside in the winter months (eating all day) or if its just his age…

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