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Helping Your Pooch Pile on the Pounds: Strategies for Healthy Weight Gain in Dogs

Let’s break down the topic of dog weight gain and explore the reasons behind it, along with practical solutions:

  1. Overeating and Lack of Exercise:
    • Dogs, like humans, can gain weight if they consume more calories than they burn through exercise.
    • Overfeeding, indulging in high-calorie treats, or sharing table scraps can contribute to weight gain.
  2. Medical Conditions:
    • Hypothyroidism:
      • A hormonal condition that reduces a dog’s metabolic rate.
      • Dogs with hypothyroidism may gain weight despite no changes in their eating habits.
      • Some may even eat less while still gaining weight.
    • Cushing’s Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism):
      • This condition increases appetite and can cause liver enlargement.
      • Dogs with Cushing’s disease may rapidly gain weight and exhibit symptoms like increased drinking, urination, and panting.
    • Orthopedic Conditions:
      • Arthritis or healing bone fractures can reduce a dog’s activity level, leading to weight gain.
    • Medication Use:
      • Long-term use of (such as prednisone) can boost appetite and result in weight gain.
      • The antiepileptic drug phenobarbital may also increase appetite.
  3. Signs to Watch For:
    • Besides visible weight gain, keep an eye out for other symptoms:
      • Changes in appetite (either increased or decreased)
      • Excessive panting
      • Hair loss or thinning
      • Dark-colored areas on the skin
      • A bloated abdomen
      • Lethargy
  4. Prevention and Management:
    • Balanced Diet: Feed your dog appropriate portions of quality food.
    • Regular Exercise: Engage your dog in physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.
    • Consult a Vet: If you notice sudden weight gain or any concerning symptoms, seek professional advice.

Remember, maintaining an optimal weight is essential for your furry friend’s well-being! 🐾

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