Most Labradors love to eat. As a breed they prone to obesity. Letting your Lab get overweight can have some serious effects.
Veterinarians estimate that more than 88 million pets suffer from obesity. This has serious effects on a dog’s health. It increase the risk of numerous diseases and injuries and shortens lifespans. One of the contributing factors seems to be that owners perceive their pets very differently than the way vets do.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention conducts an yearly survey among owners and veterinarians to determine obesity levels in pets. The last survey concluded that form a vets viewpoint, more than half the dog and cat population are obese (55% of cats and 53% of dogs). Pet owners on the other hand state between 15-22% of the same obese animals fall in a healthy weight range. Dr. Ernie Ward, of the APOP, sums it up best by saying that today’s owners have “normalized” pet obesity. In other words, it is the owners who have allowed chubby pets to become the norm.
What is even more astonishing is that over the past few years, pets in the obese range have increased with each yearly APOP survey. Pets with a body weight of 30 % above normal are considered obese. An increasing number of pets run the risk of weight-related health issues and the number continue to climb.
Pets carrying excess weight are more prone to arthritis, kidney disease and respiratory problems.
Most importantly, obesity shortens an animal’s lifespan. A notable study shows pets fed a low calorie diet enjoy up to two extra years of life than those who are not.
Pet owners hold the key. In is within their control to restrict access to food.
If your vet thinks your pet is obese it is in your and your dog’s interest to take note and act. Your veterinarian can help you create a safe, effective weight loss plan for your pet.
What are the signs of an overweight Labrador?
- Is it difficult to feel your Lab’s ribs or spine?
- Is it difficult to see your dog’s waist?
- Is the abdomen sagging?
- Does your Labrador’s face look more round with larger cheeks?
Does your Labrador:
- Appear tired and lazy?
- Lag behind on walks?
- Pant constantly?
- Need help getting in the car?
- Resist playing games?
- Bark without getting up?
If you’re noticing any of the above symptoms. It may well be time to do something about it. After all, a healthy, active Lab is a happy Lab!