OBESITY - EXCESS WEIGHT
Obesity is an accumulation of excess fat in the
body as a result of an energy (calorie) intake which exceeds requirements.
As explained earlier in this Guide (Stage 1 -Development of Disease)
overeating has numerous consequences of which excessive weight is
Obesity tends to occur in the dog which is less
active physically whereas the active dog will tend to discharge
Obesity is associated with shortened lifespan, disease
of the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, rheumatism and arthritis. The
overweight dog cannot tolerate warm weather, is less able to exercise
and will generally have less fun than a lean, healthy dog.
How can you tell if your dog is overweight? Many
owners are surprised when they are told that their dog is overweight.
The easiest way to tell is by feeling the ribcage. The ribs should
be easily and clearly felt with little flesh between the fingers
when you pinch the skin.
Specialist or Veterinary diets for weight control
are usually high in fibre (cellulose which is indigestible plant
material) to reduce the digestibility of the food. These foods are
an expensive way of producing lots of faeces.
Treatment of Obesity is by feeding according to
Burns Pet Health Management Guide.
Burns Pet Nutrition's High Oats Recipe can be helpful
in the control of Obesity. Oats have a higher fibre than rice which
means that the higher fibre level is due to the food ingredients
themselves rather than an 'additive'. High Oats is low in fat and
protein. The high digestibility means that the dog can feel satisfied
by a small volume of food.
Vegetables (cooked and raw) can safely be
included to help fill the dog if you think that is needed. It is
important to check the weight regularly to ensure that the weight
reduction programme is on course. It is better to lose weight slowly
than rapidly - 1/2 lb per week for a small dog up to 2 lb a week
for a large dog.
If your dog is overweight you are not getting enough
Common pet health problems
John Burns Pet Health Management