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Pandemic Stress Is Affecting America's Dogs

Learn why the Covid-19 pandemic may be causing dogs to gain weight.

Is your dog looking chunkier since the Covid-19 pandemic began? Unfortunately, it's probably not your imagination.

Across the country, veterinarians are noticing increased rates of obesity in pets. And the numbers in that area were already high. In fact, as many as 30% of American dogs were overweight before the pandemic.

What's Causing Higher Obesity in Dogs Associated with the Pandemic?

The reason dogs are gaining weight during Covid-19 may be three-pronged.

  • Less exercise due to contact concerns for the humans in the home
  • Increased table food due to people being home more and eating more snacks and meals at home (and sharing with their dog)
  • Stress, which can lead to an increased desire for food

What Can You Do If Your Dog Gained Pandemic Weight?

Being overweight can lead to significant health problems for your dog, including joint pain, diabetes, and heart disease. So, it's important to try and help your dog lose weight if he or she is too heavy.

First, you'll need to know whether your dog is overweight. You can get a feel for it yourself by feeling your dog's sides. Can you feel the ribs by only pressing lightly? Can you see a visible tucked waist when looking down from above, or is it straight or bulged there? Of course, it's even better if your veterinarian can examine your dog and let you know whether he or she is overweight and, if so, by how much.

If your dog is overweight, increased exercise, decreased treats, and possibly less food may be in order. Consult with your doctor to determine the best plan based on your dog's age, medical issues, and conditioning. Also, check out this article: "Tips for Helping Your Dog Lose Weight."

Of course, when you're increasing exercise, keep local recommendations regarding Covid-19 precautions in mind.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Dog Weight Loss: Tips For Helping Your Dog Lose Weight

Hands-On Guide to Checking if Your Dog Is at a Good Weight

Walking Your Dog to Help with Weight Loss

Simple Tips for Helping a Dog Lose Weight

Tips for Feeding a Hungry, Overweight Dog

Obesity in Dogs: Overview of Causes and Dangers

Dog Breeds More Prone to Becoming Obese

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