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Do I Look FAT In This?

Updated on December 27, 2011

Calling All Canines

Obesity – it is the latest epidemic striking North Americans. Canadians and Americans alike find themselves tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight. The government even finds itself reconsidering the amount of individuals allowed on ferries. Yet, humans are not alone in this battle against the bulge. In the United States 2010 statistics gathered by the Pet Obesity Awareness Day Study indicate that approximately 55% of all dogs are overweight. In Canada, the figures are lower, but, as is the as with the United States, rising annually.

This is an epidemic. Being overweight does not simply mean, your dog is carrying around “a few extra pounds” of love, cuteness and fun. If your dog is overweight, he or she may become obese then the fun is gone. It will evaporate as you place your dog in danger. Being overweight seriously affect your dog’s health and welfare.

The Negative Effect Of Carrying Too Much Weight

A dog faces great difficulty in order to carry those few extra pounds. It becomes difficult to carry on with their usual routine. It is much harder to negotiate those stairs. Playing cause your dog to wheeze and have trouble breathing. Research indicates that, just like obese humans, obese dogs are at high risk for developing several severe health issues including those that affect the cardiovascular, respiratory and osteoarticular systems. In other words, if you allow your dog to become overweight and/or obese, you are permitting him or her to experience any of the following health issues:

· Arthritis

· Breathing problems

· Diabetes mellitus

· Heart disease

· High blood pressure

· Liver problems

· Skin and coat problems

If your dog becomes extremely obese, he or she may experience various muscle, ligament and joint injuries. The possibilities include cruciate ligament rupture, hip dysplasia and laxating patella.

Causal Factors

There are three major causes of weight issues among canines. These are:

  • A genetic predisposition – certain breed are more susceptible than others to weight gain
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Nutrition – inadequate or inappropriate diet


Obesity is a serious problem that is increasing among humans and canines alike. Statistics indicate that over half of our beloved canines are on the fat track. Part 2 of this article will consider susceptible breeds and preventive measures.


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    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 

      6 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      And, as you can see in the picture, it doesn't only happen to humans!


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