Three-year-old Blessy is obese and diabetic. Thanks to the Labrador Retriever’s sedentary lifestyle, she is likely to suffer from arthritis as well.
Blessy is one of the many pet dogs in the city vulnerable to a host of lifestyle diseases owing to lack of exercise, restricted movement and imbalanced diet.
According to city-based vets, dogs mainly suffer from obesity, arthritis, diabetes, and cardiac problems among a host of other ailments, leading to a reduced life span.
“Obesity is the most common. Approximately, one in three dogs are overweight. Obesity also leads to various other diseases like arthritis, diabetes, kidney ailments and cancer,” says Dr Srikanth B V, a veterinarian, who runs the Prakruthi Vet Hospital at Banashankari.
Dr Srikanth further points out that rapid urbanisation and the apartment culture has led to a decrease in open spaces and parks in the city. As a result, owners are unable to walk their pets.” He also blames erratic feeding and pampering.
Dr Govind Raju of Sanjeevini Pet Clinic highlights the fact that obesity, arthritis and cardiac arrest are on the rise among pet canines. Despite increased awareness among pet owners, they continue to overfeed the dogs in affection. Most health issues can be credited to a sedentary lifestyle, pampering and ill-breeding.”
Dr Shiyad of Bozo Wags veterinary clinic says on a lighter note: “If the owner is obese, the pet will be obese too, though not true in all cases.” According to Shiyad, dogs start having lifestyle issues like obesity and diabetes after the age of two, if their diet is not maintained. Obesity is a common problem prevalent across all breeds.”
Common symptoms of obesity in dogs include an unwillingness to exercise, evident weight gain, limited mobility and constant lethargy, experts say.
Experts recommend a balanced meal, twice a day, coupled with ample exercise. This will go a long way in avoiding obesity, keeping the dog healthier and happier.