Obesity is not only a human epidemic.
A dog carrying excess weight is not just a ‘fat dog’. Increased weight leads to systemic inflammatory changes within the body affecting the joints, organs and soft tissues; as well as increasing the loading through the joints. There are metabolic implications of obesity, which has been shown through human research linking hand osteoarthritis (a non-weight bearing joint) and obesity.
A reduction in a dog’s weight can reduce symptoms of lameness and improve their mobility. A strong piece of evidence of dogs with hind-limb lameness demonstrates dogs put on a reduced calorie diet subsequently losing 11-18% weight have a significant reduction in lameness and mobility.
Weight management of your dog is vet led, whilst veterinary nurse clinics can also provide regular reassurance and monitoring of your pet. Diet restriction and clinically prescribed exercise by your Physiotherapist provides the optimal environment for facilitating your dog to lose weight in a safe way whilst minimising the risk of exacerbating any symptoms of discomfort.
The Body Condition Score for dogs can be accessed online or at your local veterinary practice in ensuring your dog is optimal weight physically, this is a visual scale and thus applies across breeds whilst weighing your dog can be unreliable depending on their conformation.
Helpful Tip:Typical guidelines for a dog’s kibble diet overegg a dog’s requirements by 40%. Dog’s kept on 60% of the recommended amount have been shown to maintain a healthier weight and have reduced signs of osteoarthritis.