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Extra Pounds on a Dog: The Inherent Dangers of Being Overweight

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 Jessie, the incredibly fit and trim dog:  When it is cold and wet outside, it seems the most comfortable thing to do is curl up on the couch with a warm blanket, the TV remote, and some yummy treats.  Just like you humans tend to hibernate in the winter, so can pets like me.  However, with decreased levels of activity come increased amounts of pounds and excess fat.  Just like humans endure a host of physical problems and ailments related to being overweight, pets are no exception either.  If your pet is overweight, here are some potential health hazards of which you should be aware:

**Excess weight can lead to problems with bones and joints.  Carrying around those extra pounds can be damaging to ligaments, causing them to tear or rip.

**Studies have shown that overweight dogs are at a risk for developing certain types of cancer, especially urinary bladder cancer.

**Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from constipation and increased gas.  No one wants a dog that is excessively-flatulent wandering around the house! (I always smell like roses!)

**Dogs with too many extra pounds have a decreased immune system and are at a greater risk for contracting various viral and bacterial infections.

**Excess weight can put a strain on the dog’s liver, too, decreasing its ability to properly function.

**While added pounds do wonders for keeping polar bears warm at the North Pole, they merely add to your dog’s ability to regulate his body temperature in the warmer months.

It can be a challenge to resist that cute little puppy face looking up at you, begging for “just one more treat,” consider the alternatives and realize you are doing your pet a huge favor in limiting his caloric intake.  Give him a big hug, a belly rub, and take him for a walk instead!

(Thanks to peteducation.com for this great info.)

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