7 Common Indian Dog Breeds Most Likely to Be Overweight or Obese
Obesity is the most common disease affecting pets in India today. It’s the number one cause for the degraded quality of life in pets and a gateway to life-threatening diseases. Weight issues are usually overlooked by pet-parents and often times it’s too late to reverse the damage by the time acceptance arrives.
Obesity is the outcome of multiple lifestyle triggers and genetic predisposition. Lifestyle triggers range from the basic natural deviation in the way dogs live due to human intervention, to the daily choices you make for your pet.
From what they eat, how much they eat how often they go for walks, how long these walks are to how much attention you really pay to their well-being. While all these are factors in your control, some dog breeds are genetically predisposed to gaining weight faster than others.
This does not mean that these breeds are meant to be obese and is definitely not an excuse for parenting a fat dog. It is rather an alert to stay vigilant, practice caution and make thoughtful choices.
1. Labrador Retrievers
Labradors love to eat! If you let them, they’d eat their way into obesity. Practicing restraint may feel really hard, even cruel, but it is definitely not worse than letting them go obese and lose years from their life. Overfeeding is the biggest evil that leads to obesity, and the genetic inclination only makes it worse.
Beagles too, like Labradors, love to eat. Some may even call them ‘chow-hounds’. If left your breakfast on the table and returned to find it gone, you probably parent a Beagle. This behavior does make it difficult to control their diet, but not impossible. Beagles also tend to get lazier as they grow. Lower exercise means a need for lesser calories. When the diet is not altered according to their life stage, obesity can be expected.
The cute smushy faces of Pugs mean they are born with ‘brachycephalic airway syndrome’ or BAS, which means breathing for them is not an easy feat. Putting on excess weight is hence in itself life-threatening for Pugs. The same condition makes it difficult for them to partake in intensive physical exercise, which makes losing weight difficult too. If you parent a Pug, it is best to keep them slim and as far away from being overweight as possible.
Bulldogs, like Pugs, are greedy eaters and not very active. Since they are naturally stocky and squarish it may be difficult to tell if they are overweight. A good way to check is if their waist is slimmer than their hips. If they are a straight-up sausage shape they are definitely overweight.
5. Indian Pariah Dogs
Used to living in the wild and surviving on minimal food, Indian Pariahs don’t really need to eat a lot. However, when they are bought home as pets, they have access to unlimited food and we tend to overfeed them. Their physical activity too, reduces drastically with an apartment lifestyle. These make it very easy for them to become overweight.
6. Golden Retrievers
Who can resist the charm of a Golden? This makes overfeeding them a big possibility. Research by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention shows that about 63% of Golden Retrievers are overweight. Goldens are also predisposed to Bone and Joint issues like Hip Dysplasia, Arthritis, Loose Knees, etc which makes it really important to maintain their weight.
7. Cocker Spaniels
Cocker Spaniels are another breed that gains weight quickly. They are also predisposed to Thyroid, Hip Dysplasia, and even congestive heart failure. All of which can be aggravated due to excessive weight.
That said, know that when not thoughtfully fed and exercised, a dog of any breed can turn overweight or obese. It is every pet-parents’ duty to be responsible for their pet’s health and well-being. If your pet is indeed overweight or obese, they themselves are at no fault. It is your choices and decisions that led to this point, and they are what can make things better.
Start by visiting your vet and consulting them about the way forward. Assess the damage caused up to this point and work towards making up for it. Switch your pet to a healthier, real diet than processed kibble. Take them out for walks and exercise them enough.
Obesity is truly scary when you know what it can do to your little sweetheart. However, it is not entirely impossible to revoke if tackled in time. Realizing there lies a problem, though, takes more time than anything else. So keep aside your rose-colored glasses and take an honest look at your pet. Use a BCS (Body Condition Score) Chart to evaluate where your pet stands.
Whether they are overweight yet or not, make it a habit to say no to overfeeding and encouraging regular exercise. After all, who doesn’t want their pets to live with them as long as possible?
FOR INFORMATION ONLY – NOT VETERINARY CARE
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