When we think about why our pets pack a few extra pounds, the first thought that comes to mind is excess food and lack of exercise. Although there is irrefutable evidence that any dog that abundantly consumes foods rich in fats and sugars and does not exercise enough will become overweight, the nutritional requirement of each dog also depends on intrinsic factors.
The latter include genetics, age, and health conditions. Each dog has a different metabolism and therefore specific nutritional demands, which can be affected by hormonal imbalances. As an example, elderly animals as well as those that have been castrated are more likely to become overweight.
Overweight in dogs is manifested by the accumulation of fat mainly in the abdomen and chest area, which can be easily determined by looking at them.
However, adipose tissue is not always easy to observe since it can be in vital organs, such as the heart, preventing their proper functioning. An overweight dog not only has impaired movement, but is more prone to obesity-related illnesses.
10 Dog Breeds Prone To Obesity
Since genetics determine numerous canine characteristics, it is understandable that certain breeds have a certain predisposition to obesity. In addition to differences in innate traits such as physical build, the lifestyle and type of activity for which a breed was created also make them more likely to carry extra weight.
The differentiation of dogs from wolves dates to more than 100 million years ago. However, basic breeding began when humans realized canids possessed a wide range of abilities and began an intentional selection of advantageous traits. Since then, desirable talents were reinforced in successive generations, giving origin to today’s breeds. How were different dog breeds created?
Based on their genetic characteristics and the type of work for which their were bred, there are two main types of dogs that are more likely to be overweight: hunting dogs and short-nosed dogs.
Since they were designed to run long distances, it is expected that hunting dog breeds that become pets have problems related to weight gain. The energy expenditure of a daily walk is never sufficient when compared to the endurance necessary to spend a day chasing prey. Within this group we find:
1. Scottish Terrier
3. Basset Hound
4. Dachshund (Sausage Dog)
5. Golden Retriever
6. Labrador Retriever
7. Cocker Spaniel
Dogs with extremely short snouts, even if they differ significantly in size, coat and breed, have a common genetic trait: the brachycephalic skull. This characteristic, which is shared by breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs, leads to difficulty breathing and dissipating heat, causing respiratory disorders as well as low tolerance to humidity and high temperatures. This considerably limits their ability to exercise, thus making them more susceptible to weight gain and obesity. Amongst them we can find: