How Dogs Become Overweight
Dogs nearly always become overweight from eating more food than they need, and then not getting enough exercise. Calories in the food they eat, which aren't used for daily activities, are stored as fat. Overeating may result from greediness, boredom, or overfeeding.
Feeding leftovers or giving frequent snacks or treats often contributes to the excess weight problem. Moreover, a small snack for a person is a large number of calories for a dog. Feeding treats may also encourage your dog to beg at the table, and dogs are often skilled at teaching their owners to feed them treats!
Over-fed puppies tend to become overweight dogs, and also have a greater risk of developing orthopedic problems. If you feed your puppy correctly when he's young, he'll be less at risk of having weight problems later in his life.
Occasionally, metabolic disorders can make a dog overweight. But overfeeding and under exercising are much more common causes of excess weight. If your veterinarian suspects a metabolic disorder is causing your dog to gain weight, he or she will test for that disorder.
A quick way to check if your dog is overweight is to feel his ribs with the flat of your hand. If you can only feel the ribs with difficulty, your dog probably needs to lose weight.
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