Progressing Poundage in Dated Dogs
Research shows that, according to BMI, the majority of the United States population is overweight. It is becoming one of society's bigger problems, no pun intended. The lack of interest in physical activity, the fact that portions are becoming larger, and that nutrition is being overshadowed by convenience and flavor is altering the mentality of the population. The distorted conception of feeding has not only affected the way in which we care for ourselves, but also as we do for our pets.
Young puppies can be started on diets that may be nutritionally imbalanced or rationed too heavily; given that the progression of weight gain has not become too severe, these young dogs still have hope to lose the additional weight. It is the dogs that are in the higher age brackets that are at the most risk.
Older dogs are very susceptible to gaining weight as they become less active. Some dog breeds have been known to do so more quickly as the years go by, such as Terriers, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Collies and Retrievers. Older dogs are almost twice as likely to be overweight than younger dogs; this may be contributed to genetic factors, as well as a diet containing high-calorie dog treats and table scraps. Smaller dogs may be able to exercise around the house, but larger dogs need to be taken out. Dogs are highly dependent on their owners to take them to exercise, and that doesn't always happen.
As adult dogs become elderly, other factors limit their ability to exercise; these include their physical and physiological condition, as well as their owners slowing down over time. This lack of physical activity coupled with the same diet they were being fed at a younger age can lead to obesity. Female dogs are also more likely to become obese than males. Neutered and spayed pets are also more likely to gain weight than reproductively intact ones.
Interestingly, statistics show that pet owners who are 40 years old and beyond are more than twice as likely to have obese dogs than younger owners are. Also, one-third of obese dog owners consider their dogs to be within the normal range of weight.
Because your dog relies so heavily on your involvement, you should do everything within your power to keep them healthy and prevent obesity. Make sure that your dog is still getting adequate exercise with age.