A fit dog lives longer. Obesity amongst pet dogs is a growing problem. If a dog is overweight it puts extra strain on various parts of the body and may well shorten the dog’s life.
A tendency toward obesity in dogs stems from the fact that many popular diets are usually significantly higher in carbohydrate than protein.
Learning to understand the specific nutritional requirements of your dog and then matching those needs to the most suitable diet plan, along with regular exercise is by far the best way to keep a dog’s weight down.
There is no one size fits all dog food and each individual dog has different nutritional and lifestyle requirements.
There is complete veterinary consensus that obesity significantly reduces the lifespan and quality of life for dogs.
Obesity in pets is common in many countries. Rates of overweight and obesity in dogs in the United States ranges from 23% to 41% with about 5.1% obese. The UK is also witnessing the growing obesity problem in domestic dogs.
Two British brothers were cited in 2006 for cruelty and neglect of their chocolate labrador retriever, “who was allegedly made so obese by his owners that he ‘looked like a seal’ and could barely waddle a few steps”.
The reasons for obesity of cats and dogs in wealthier countries is not simply a matter of overfeeding. Lifestyle and hormonal influences also play roles. In modern times, pets are often, for their own safety, not allowed to free roam as they did in the past.
Also, surgical sterilization of animals does increase the chances of the pet becoming overweight as need for caloric intake decreases.
More information on canine obesity: Dog Weight.