Is your husky so fat? If yes, then you might have been wondering why your pooch is obese. Obesity in dogs is often overlooked, and the truth is that not many pet owners know that just as being overweight can be unhealthy for them, it's pretty much the same for their dogs .
Well, this post has been created to help you identify if your husky's weight gain should be a thing of concern, why it might be happening and how to help your dog stay fit.
So, why is my husky is so fat? Improper feeding practices, insufficient physical activity, health problems, genetic predisposition or even receiving too many treats. To know the exact source of your dog's increase in weight and overall size, you'd need to ask certain questions, to eliminate other causes and come up with the correct one (which might be a combination of reasons and not just a single one).
Now that you know the reasons for your pet being fat, let’s dive right in as I go indepth explaining each
1. Health issues:
There are certain diseases in dogs whose classic symptom is characterized by drastic weight gain. Some of such illnesses include hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease, hip dysplasia, and degenerative arthritis.
Most of these diseases have other symptoms like difficulty climbing and jumping around, limping, dull, and unhealthy looking coat and increased lethargy.
Hence, if you believe that the source of your dog's gain in weight is from an underlying sickness then a veterinarian visit is well recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment.
2. Improper feeding practices:
One of the most common causes of weight gain in dogs is wrong diet practices. This can range from overeating to eating the wrong food.
If the total calorie content of your husky's food is decreased by eliminating protein or fat and including more carbohydrates ...
then this can increase in insulin synthesis, resulting in appetite changes, overeating, and an increase in body fat.
Foods that have a lower carbohydrate and higher protein content are perfect for keeping your dog fit as huskies need the proper amount of a nutritional diet to retain their physical agility and muscular body structures.
However, do not change anything in your dog's diet until you must have contacted your vet. With the help of your veterinarian, you'd be able to develop a safe and effective weight loss plan for your dog.
Another cause of obesity in dogs is if you're feeding your dog too much. Admittedly, this might be a lot harder to track especially if you're not the only one that gets to feed your dog or offer it treats. Here's a guide on how much you should feed your dog.
An effective way to track and control how often your dog gets its meals if other members in the house are also involved in its feeding, is by placing a board or a sheet nearby, so you can make a mark whenever your husky has been fed, this would help keep everyone informed on the next mealtime and not do it too soon or too often
3. Insufficient physical activity:
Huskies were bred to be strong, hardworking dogs even under the most impossible of situations. To be fit and healthy, they require sufficient exercise and daily training.
If you already take your dog out for daily exercises, then it might not be getting enough and you might need to increase exercise length and intensity.
There are certain warning signs that your dog isn't getting enough exercises and is gradually getting out of shape, such as inability to run as fast as it used to or play as long as it used to, preferring to lie around all day, all these are signs of lack of stamina and strength.
Speak with a dog behaviorist about the recommended exercise for your dog. Remember your dog's health is important and sufficient exercises are a good way to enhance mental performance and prolong your dog's lifespan.
4. Genetic predisposition:
Some dogs of certain breeds have more tendency to become overweight. This would most likely be the case if your dog has always been this way and if you haven't changed anything in its diet or physical activity time.
5. Old age:
As dogs age, there are certain changes to expect, and this is a normal part of aging and should not be feared. These changes come in different forms, they can be physical and behavioral.
Your husky gaining weight might be one of such changes. To tell if your dog aging might be a cause of its weight gain, you would need to take into consideration certain factors like the age of your dog and if your dog hasn't always been fat.
Age-associated muscle loss, known as sarcopenia is common among dogs and usually results in a reduced rate of metabolism and subsequent fat gain. Your dog's breed plays a major role in the changes you should expect as your dog ages.
For example, while some dog breeds are more prone to cancer, other breeds tend to be more susceptible to heart diseases. Hence, you might want to contact a vet for precautions and necessary steps to take as your dog reaches its senior years.
Sometimes you might mistake your husky getting fat for other causes, like pregnancy or gastric torsion. Gastric torsion is usually characterized by a swollen abdomen and is a very dangerous medical complication.
You might want to consider that your dog isn't fat, but rather suffering from dog bloat.
Other symptoms to check out to ensure this isn't the case include restlessness, anxiety, nausea (you can tell this if your dog attempts to vomit multiple times but nothing comes out), drooling, pale gum, difficulty breathing, and an increased heartbeat.
You should contact a veterinarian immediately if you believe your dog is suffering from gastric torsion.
Another point to consider is if your dog is pregnant, this would most likely be the case if your dog is a female and if your dog is showing other indications of pregnancy.
Other signs of pregnancy asides from the enlarged abdomen and weight gain include nesting behaviors, discolored and enlarged nipples, appetite changes, lethargy, and decreased activity. You might want to contact a veterinarian to learn more about the care your dog needs if you believe your dog is pregnant.
How to help your husky get back in shape
As a dog owner, you'll need to take certain steps or combination of steps to keep your husky fit and healthy. For example, cutting down on treats and ensuring your dog is feeding on the right food.
The benefits of proper nutrition cannot be overemphasized, your dog requires a particular combination of carbohydrates, minerals, protein, vitamins, water, and fats for enhanced activities and to function properly.
Every nutrient you feed your dog has its role and in the right combination would help your dog achieve stronger teeth and bones, good build, healthy muscle mass, and a strong immune system.
Protein helps your dog repair and replace worn-out cells, carbohydrates provide fibers that aid digestion and vitamins and minerals help boost metabolic functions.
Another way to get your husky back in shape is by giving it enough exercise and training. Getting your dog its required physical activity time would help provide a suitable outlet for your dog's excess energy. An exhausted dog is calmer and usually better behaved.
Exercising your dog would help keep it healthy and prevent behavioral misconduct like chewing, excessive barking, digging, and other anxiety-linked habits. Regular exercises also help your dog learn tricks like staying within a designated spot, catching and fetching. It also helps develop social skills, increase endurance and flexibility.
If you can't seem to find the cause of your dog's weight gain, then it would be wise to contact a professional veterinarian. Contacting an expert would help you focus and pinpoint the problem, and provide you with a particular solution that fits your dog's situation.