More than half the dogs in the United States are classified as overweight or obese, and many owners don’t even realize it. Even worse, overweight dogs are susceptible to a litany of secondary problems such as joint disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness.
Exercise and calorie control are the keys to managing a pet’s weight. Senior dogs are often less active than their younger counterparts and have different caloric needs. Diets designed for seniors can help provide nutrients in the proper balance, often with different ratios of fat and protein than you would find in a standard adult dog food. Regular gentle exercise is beneficial even for dogs with health issues. Consult with your veterinarian to come up with a diet and exercise plan that is right for your pet.
Overweight dogs that are following a vet-approved weight loss plan with little to no success may be suffering from hypothyroidism, a common condition in dogs that results in a sluggish metabolism. Fortunately, hypothyroidism can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and responds readily to medication.
Sadly, dogs are susceptible to many of the same cancers seen in humans. Bone cancer, lymphoma, and melanoma are just a few of the neoplasms commonly diagnosed in dogs. Although there is a strong genetic component in some dog breeds like Golden Retrievers and Boxers, cancer can develop spontaneously in any breed. Early detection and diagnosis is the key to surviving dog cancer, so don’t skip those annual veterinary exams.
MORE TO EXPLORE
How to Recognize Signs of Arthritis in Pets
Overweight Pets: Addressing the Epidemic
How to Care for Senior Pets
Does My Senior Dog Need Special Dog Food?
A term for a type of neoplasm that is made up of lymphoid tissue; these masses are usually malignant in nature
The outbreak of a disease inside of a group
A condition in which growth and development are not up to normal standards
An animal’s attitude or temperament
A medical condition in which the joints become inflamed and causes a great deal of pain.