One of the most severe problems affecting canines around the world, including Vizslas, is obesity. Most of the health problems and deaths in dogs are due to this disorder. Many people believe that obesity only negatively affects humans, and that is not true.
Generally, Vizsla owners might think that their pet is not likely to suffer from obesity as it is a breed that is characterized by its high level of physical activity and its abilities during hunting. In fact, this dog needs daily exercise to stay fit.
The reality is that although a Vizsla has a high level of energy and physical activity, it can gain weight.
The real culprits for the obesity of our pets are us and the quality of life that we offer them. For that reason, as a Vizsla owner, you should know how to help and prevent your canine from becoming overweight.
Causes of Overweight in Your Vizsla
As we have said before, Vizslas are canines that must run, jump, play, exercise or do any other physical activity for long periods every day.
Most of the time, our Vizsla’s obesity is due to our irresponsibility. One of the most common causes is our unwillingness to help train and exercise our dog. Our canine does not have the opportunity to train or exercise every day of the week, either because we are working or because we do not feel like helping it.
Another of the most remarkable causes is poor diet. An excellent balanced diet based on nutrients and vitamins is essential for a Vizsla. These dogs need to eat a lot of protein, so they have enough energy to do their exercises.
Irresponsibility and ignorance of us, as their owners, prevent us from feeding our pets with the healthy foods that they should eat. Instead, we provide it with junk and unhealthy food that, over time, causes our Vizsla to gain weight.
Humans are not always responsible for the weight gain of our Vizsla. There are certain diseases that can cause it. One of them is diabetes. In this case, the dog does not produce enough insulin, which causes blood sugar to build up excessively.
Other causes may be the canine’s age, stress, medications with side effects, etc.
Consequences of Obesity in Your Vizsla
As we have already mentioned, excess weight can shorten the life of your pet. That is because obesity decreases the energy and motor skills of our animals. Little by little, the Vizsla will begin to experience low moods that can lead to it developing diseases in the near future.
Increasing body weight in a dog has negative effects on its heart rate, causing its heart to malfunction. Similarly, other consequences of obesity are arthritis and degeneration of the joints. It is because the skeleton of a canine cannot support a greater weight than it is used to. Vizslas tend to suffer a lot from this as they generally have a slim body.
How to Help a Vizsla Lose Weight?
How difficult it is to help your Vizsla lose weight will depend on our willingness and effort. There are several ways to help your dog both prevent and reduce excess weight.
1. Balanced Diet
If you want your dog to lose weight, the first thing you should do is make positive changes in its diet. The best diet for a Vizsla is one based on perfectly balanced nutrients and vitamins. That is important because you must compensate for the energy expenditure that your dog makes during its training sessions.
You have to reduce its caloric intake through a balanced diet with a great source of protein and few carbohydrates. The best way to achieve this is by feeding your canine natural and healthy homemade food.
The foods you should avoid giving your pet are avocado, chocolate, garlic, onion, dairy products and some raw foods. The most recommended foods for this type of dog due to its level of vitamins and nutrients are:
- Meats (chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, veal, fish).
- Fruits (apples, bananas, strawberries, pears, and more).
You can even consider the BARF diet, which consists of mixed natural foods such as meat, organs, fruits, vegetables, eggs, yogurt, meaty bones, white rice, etc. It should be noted that you should serve your Vizsla approximately two meals a day, with portions between 2% and 4% of its weight.
2. Physical Activity
Exercise is essential for the quality of life of your Vizsla. These canines are characterized by training, exercising, running, jumping, or playing daily. The reason for this is because this breed of dog tends to get bored easily, and they need to have fun in some way. That does not mean that you have to allow your canine to exercise throughout the day, as excessive physical effort can be harmful to its body.
The best way to control your Vizsla’s weight is through long walks, games, physical agility training, etc. You have to create an exercise schedule and routine that you can carry out together with your pet on a daily basis.
You may have a job, so you should adapt these routines to your free time. In case you can’t, you will have no choice but to hire a dog sitter to take care of it.
Adult Vizslas generally need at least two sessions (one hour each) of exercise daily.
3. Physiotherapy for Your Vizsla
Physical therapy for dogs is a good option to help your pet reduce its body weight. This option is recommended above all for elderly Vizslas as they generally begin to present mobility problems. This activity will not only help your dog lose weight, but it will also strengthen its muscles and joints.
4. Take Your Dog to the Vet
If you have been trying to help your Vizsla lose weight but have not achieved results, then it is best to take it to the vet to verify that your dog does not have any disease. We have previously said that there are diseases that can cause overweight in dogs.