Dogs love to eat. You can feel the energy they exude when you ask them, “Are you ready to eat?” Your Goldendoodle is not any different. That tail starts wagging vigorously. Her eyes light up, and her mouth opens in a Pavlovian response.
But eating can become a problem if she eats too much or too much of the wrong types of food. Humans are the same way. When we eat too much and become obese, it can lead to considerable health problems that shorten our lives and make those shorter lives more difficult.
As the companion of a wonderful and energetic Goldendoodle, you should be prepared to understand that there are other things besides overeating that can lead to obesity in your dog. When dogs walk with you, or play tug, or chase a thrown ball, they expend energy provided by the calories they’ve consumed. If you feed her as instructed but do not have regular exercise, those calories don’t get consumed and can lead to obesity. The mixture of proteins in her diet depending on her stage in age can also lead to obesity and its associated problems.
What obesity does
Arthritis—a higher risk for larger dogs—is caused by a reduction of the cartilage in the joints. This can be caused by obesity in Goldendoodles when that extra weight is putting additional pressure on the joints.
If humans put on too much weight, they run the risk of heart disease and hypertension. This isn’t any different with your Goldendoodle. But in addition to the cardiovascular problems obesity can cause, being too heavy can lead her to suffer from a collapsed trachea or laryngeal paralysis—a condition that can be fatal if not treated.
Obesity in dogs can lead to the production of benign fatty tumors and even breast and bladder cancers. An obese dog has extra skin. Folds in the skin can harbor dangerous bacteria leading to skin irritations or infections. An obese dog is going to develop problems maintaining a healthy coat.
One of the biggest impacts of obesity in your Goldendoodle is going to be the shortening of her lifespan. Not only does her time spent with you become shorter, but her enjoyment of it becomes less. If your dog becomes obese, even dropping a few pounds is going to make life significantly better for her, but the damage may already have been done. What’s the old saying? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Keep her trim
Consult your veterinarian to determine the right amount of food and frequency to fit your Goldendoodle’s life stage. Keep her healthy by taking her on walks, throwing the ball or frisbee, and playing a little tug.
Make sure, if you give her treats during the day, that you adjust her food intake at feeding times appropriately. It’s not rocket science but being aware of the potential problems obesity can cause in your Goldendoodle, will go a long way in keeping her happy and healthy.