Dec 9, 2009

It is an Epidemic! Obesity in dogs is on the rise

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis

In talking to pet owners, I have seen a lot of denial about their dog or cat’s weight problem.  For some reason we make a lot of excuses or we just chose to ignore the signs that our beloved pet is overweight.  Also, we tend to take this a bit personally.  But actually, obesity in dogs is very common.  There are many studies that estimate that 25 to 40% of all dogs are overweight.  Why is this important?  Well, on the human side there are many studies that show that there is a strong relationship between weight and arthritis.  In 2006 a report released from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) showed that twice as many obese adults have arthritis compared to non-obese people (31% vs. 16%).

It has also been shown that if you are obese at a young age it is very likely that you will develop arthritis when you are older.   So what does all that mean for your dog?  Well there have been some studies done in the dog, but logically if your dog is overweight they have a much higher risk of having osteoarthritis.

How do you tell if your dog is overweight?  If you stand over your dog- do you see an indentation or waistline after the ribs?  Can you see the ribs?  Can you find them easily when you palpate them?  Thank you to Dr Todd Towell and Hill’s Pet Nutrition for providing this picture to help illustrate how you can evaluate your dog body weight condition.

Obesity Chart


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