Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network


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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

So the holidays have just passed and you’re only a couple pounds heavier then when you started before the season. You know that a couple of weeks of eating sensibly and getting back into your regular active routine will do the trick to get you back in pre-December form in no time. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to your small dog a couple of pounds can make a huge difference in their overall Body Mass Index, health and mobility. The problem with excess weight in pets is that it puts them at higher risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, arthritis, inflammation disorders, some cancers, ligament tears, pancreas problems, and a shortened lifespan to name a few.  Its better to keep the weight off now, rather than have surgery to fix a broken knee later. And remember, it’s far better to keep the weight off now, rather than need surgery to fix a broken knee later.

When examining your dog to better understand the reason for their recent weight gain, you should remember to employ some self scrutiny. If you know that you’ve been neglecting your walking routine and that your aunt Edith may have thrown your pup one too many tasty treats over the holidays then you have your culprit. On the other hand, if your pup’s weight has crept up over time you may need to work with your vet to determine if a an exercise routine and calorie reduced diet are necessary to get him or her back on track.

To ensure your dog is in a healthy range for their breed compare their actual weight to the recommended standard in the American Kennel Club’s The Complete Dog Book. If your small dog is greater than 2 pounds above the breed standard, you’ve got some work ahead. For medium dogs you should be concerned if their weight is 5 pounds above breed standard and for large dogs it’s 8-10 pounds. If any breed dog is more than 15 pounds over the specified standards, your dog is at risk for many serious health problems and you should consult with your vet as soon as possible.

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