Canine obesity and joint health - GudFur Ltd

Canine obesity and joint health

So, you might be wondering if obesity causes joint problems. The truth is that obesity contributes to soft tissue damage and osteoarthritis (which is a progressive, degenerative disease that worsens over time). The impact of obesity is especially felt in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee joints.
The signs to look out for are as follows: 
  • If you have difficulty feeling your dog’s ribs, spine or waistline
  • Their tummies start sagging
  • Their faces start to look rounder
  • They are no longer keen to play or go for walks and need help getting into the car
  • Excessive panting

We would always advise speaking to a vet about your dog’s weight because there may be a difference of perception about your pets weight verses the vet’s weight and body condition score evaluation. It is very difficult to hear that you pet is overweight even though they might look like they are in good shape. Obesity seems to be an ever-growing epidemic with our pets.  Whilst older dogs are more likely to be overweight as opposed to younger dogs, we as pet owners need to be responsible for providing everything that is necessary for the health of our dogs.  It is therefore so important to educate each other about how we can prevent the development of this condition. We know, that by reading this blog, you are a responsible dog owner so please do share this with your friends and comment below.

You might be wondering if it is a problem for your dog to be overweight / obese. In fact, the effects of obesity are far reaching because it contributes to many other diseases and can shorten a dog’s life. Not only do overweight and obese dogs put more strain on their joints in every step but the extra fat causes increased inflammation of the joints. Those few extra treats here and there can soon begin to pile on the pounds which can lead to weight gain and put unnecessary strain on your dog’s joints.

That is why it is so important that you help your dog stay in shape. Weight loss in dogs requires both tweaks in diet and exercise as well as management of any other underlying issues. Speak to your vet and discuss all the options available to help support your pet overcome its obesity and whether your pet has started to show signs that it’s weight has impacted their bones and joints, including the onset of arthritis. This might be a good time to discuss adding a supplement to your pet’s daily meal plan. Talk to your vet about supplements that contain ingredients such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin, fatty acids and Green Lipped Mussel, these can be the most effective in slowing down the effects of stiffness and supporting your pet during this period of their life stage.

Certain breeds are especially prone to weight gain, including Pugs, Beagles, Golden Retrievers and English Springer Spaniels. Pet owners of these breeds need to be especially vigilant in protecting their dogs from losing the battle of the bulge. Let us support our dogs by gifting them with good health and a long life with a proper diet, exercise, and companionship.

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