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Risks of Dogs Remaining Overweight

Did you know that over 40% of dogs over the age of one in the United States are considered overweight or obese? Risk factors for obesity include certain breeds, spayed or neutered dogs, increased age, and a sedentary lifestyle.

There are many reasons to keep your dog at a healthy weight. One study in Labrador Retrievers demonstrated that lean Labs lived 1.8 years longer than overweight Labs! In addition to having a shorter life span, overweight and obese dogs are more prone to orthopedic conditions like knee injuries (i.e., rupturing ligaments in their knees). And you can imagine how difficult it would be to move on three legs instead of four if your dog has a knee injury AND is overweight! It can prolong recovery from surgery, which makes weight loss even more challenging.

Secondly, if your dog already has issues with arthritis, carrying more weight around will make his or her mobility even more challenging. This can result in less activity, which can add to more weight gain. Being overweight also puts dogs at risk for urinary tract disease such as bladder stones and urinary infections. Other diseases associated with obesity include pancreatitis, collapsing trachea, dental disease, certain types of cancer, diabetes and back problems.

Cooper pre weight loss photosCooper at Oberlin before weight loss photos

Cooper is one of the dogs in our Weight Loss Challenge. He had gained over 20 pounds in the last year! His dad said “I am so excited to get back into the exercise regime. With 2 kids in diapers and being slow over the winter with the cold weather and not being outside, it is good to have motivation to get moving again.”

Bring your dog in today to be evaluated by one of our experienced veterinarians. We can determine whether he or she needs to lose weight, and if so, we will formulate a weight loss plan so that your furry friend can lose weight safely and effectively. See you soon!

Some of the above information was obtained from

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