What causes weight gain?
Too much food. Overeating is the main reason why dogs become overweight. As with people, when a dog consumes more calories than it uses, its body stores those excess calories as fat. The more fat that accumulates, the heavier your dog becomes.
Too little exercise. The amount of exercise or activity your dog gets makes a big difference to how much he or she weighs. Less activity means a greater risk of becoming overweight.
Breed. Certain dog breeds are more likely to put on weight than others. Dogs that are genetically prone to gain weight easily include: Labrador retrievers, Cairn terriers, Cocker spaniels, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, long-haired Dachshunds, Shetland sheepdogs, Basset hounds and Beagles.
What's the difference between being overweight and obese?
When a dog consumes more calories than it needs for a long period of time, it can lead to obesity. A dog is generally considered obese when its body weight exceeds its ideal weight by 20 percent or more. The risk of obesity increases in pets between the ages of 6 and 12 years, and in pets that have been spayed or neutered.
We firmly believe that if you feed a high meat content, grain free or BARF diet along with good exercise there is no reason for most dogs to ever become overweight. Our pet care advisors can all suggest the right food for your dogs to keep fit not fat.
A fit dog is a happy dog.
A fit dog is healthy - and happy. Being the ideal weight allows your dog to move around without difficulty, and get much more out of life. Slim dogs are far less likely to suffer from weight related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis and joint problems.
To a dog, a walk is an all-round workout that keeps his body and his mind healthy. But it's important that your dog is exercised every day, not just at weekends. Regular exercise will help him lose weight as well as keeping him fitter, healthier and happier. Extra long walks at the weekend can actually do more harm than good, especially if your dog suffers from arthritis. He may appear to keep up, but he can be stiff and sore the following day.
Dogs are social animals, and no matter how much love and companionship you provide, it cannot make up for the interesting sights and smells they experience when they're out and about.
Workout exercise tips
Regular walk - take your dog to the local park or just along the street.
Resistance walk - try to walk your dog on different surfaces like sand, shallow water, fallen leaves, snow or on a rough surface.
Enhanced walk - use obstacles when you're out walking like benches, trees, ditches and logs for your dog to jump over, crawl under or balance on.
Fetch - throwing a ball or toy is great exercise for your dog, and you can make him work harder by doing it on a hillside or stairs. Don't throw sticks, though, as they can splinter and cause injury.
Hide and seek - hide a toy or some kibbles and let your dog find them.
Swimming or hydrotherapy - ideal for dogs with arthritis or back problems. Ask your vet about hydrotherapy.
Scampers Petcare Advisors can help if your dog is overweight and recommend a course of action to ensure they remain happy and healthy.