Fat Great Dane is not a separate breed but overweight Great Dane dogs. Great Danes are gentle giant dogs, also known as the “Apollo of Dogs,” the brightest fixture in the sky. These mastiff-type dogs were initially bred to hunt wild boar, but they wouldn’t be outstanding today. The ferociousness needed to track down such a gigantic, wily animal was eventually bred out of the Great Dane. They’re now gentle souls who generally get along well with other humans, dogs, and animals.
Great Danes are one of the most loved canines globally and among families. Sadly, people who love their dogs tend to overfeed them to reflect their devotion. As a result, the puppy looks healthy, but on the other hand, they become obese. Unfortunately, most pet owners are clueless about the causes and consequences of obese Great Danes.
Like humans, obesity in canines is not strange and can lead to health problems later in life. Diabetes, joint problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart disease are all connected in some ways to obesity. In addition, recent analyses estimate that more than 55% of domestic puppies in the United States are obese or fat, or overweight. So, if your giant companion is a little too giant, you are not alone.
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Can Great Danes be Overweight?
Yes, Great Danes can become overweight as they are prone to gaining weight while overfed. The good news is that you can treat obesity with a proper diet and exercise. The primary key is to monitor your dog’s weight regularly to note symptoms of obesity before it gets out of hand.
As a giant dog, maintaining extra weight can cause unnecessary wear and tear to their body and lead to other health disorders. So, you must identify and address their weight before it becomes an even more significant problem.
What Causes Obesity in Great Danes?
Feeding human treats, junk food, or health problems such as thyroid disease or hip dysplasia can also lead to your dog gaining a few extra pounds. Unfortunately, those extra pounds can mean even more health problems and shorten their lifespan, so it’s crucial to notice their body health by changing their diet or exercise regimen. In addition, monitor their weight as an average adult male Dane weighs between 140- 170 pounds, whereas a female generally weighs between 110 – 140 pounds. If your Dane’s weight exceeds this, they may need to lose a few pounds.
When your Great Dane suffers from the below-mentioned health disorders, it will be predisposed to obesity, including:
Hypothyroidism: Like cortisol, a canine’s thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones. When thyroid hormone secretion is insufficient, your Dane will add extra flabs leading to weight gain.
Cushing’s syndrome: A deadly disorder, also known as hypercortisolism, where your dog’s adrenal glands produce cortisol hormones. When this hormone is produced excessively, it concerns the normal functioning of this hormone as it helps to:
- Control your dog’s weight
- Control blood sugar levels
- Fight infections
- Respond to stress
Obesity health problems
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Trouble Breathing
- Skeletal problems/Lameness
- Inactivity/Low energy/Lethargy
- Non-allergic skin conditions
- Stress on the organs
- Kidney disease
- Fatty tumors
Genetics: The gene type a Dane inherits is another significant cause of obesity and weight gain. It is highly advised to watch their weight as they age.
Lack of proper Exercise: Great Danes need 90 minutes of daily exercise. The training can vary, including running, walking, and playing. If your Dane isn’t getting enough exercise, it’s time to start improving it. Remember, exercise should be an essential part of your Dane’s daily routine.
Spaying/Neutering: When your Dane’s reproduction ability is surgically hampered, it weakens the sex hormones they produce. As an outcome, they expend less energy. When this element combines with their incapability to intake less food, the extra energy is stored as fat leading to weight gain or obesity.
Old age: With age, your Great Dane’s metabolic rate decreases, decreasing the energy its body produces. Accordingly, your dog will become physically inactive. This condition should proportionately reduce their intake. However, when this proportion doesn’t happen, your Dane is at risk of developing obesity.
Signs to Look Out for Obesity
Here go a few ways to find out if your Great Dane is overweight
- You cannot feel their ribs (Put your hands over your dog’s flanks and abdomen. If you cannot feel their ribs, they are overweight)
- Their weight will be higher than usual.
- Excessive panting
- Lack of interest in physical activities
- Digestive problems and constipation
- Reduced stamina
- Difficulty doing simple tasks
- Excessively lengthy naps
How to Get the Weight Off?
Feed a Weight Loss Diet: The higher fiber content will make your Dane feel full without adding extra calories. Always consult your veterinarian before starting a strict diet and exercise plan.
Decrease the Food quantity: Decreasing the food quantity by 25% will help your dog lose weight. However, run your weight loss plan by your vet first to ensure it’s not too drastic.
Increase Exercise: Take your Great Dane for a long walk and gradually increase the exercise by about 5 minutes.
Healthy Eating: To retain your Dane’s stamina and muscular physique, they must eat the correct quantity of nutritionally balanced food. Proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids in plants and meat make up most of their diet, provide energy, and maintain a healthy coat.
Treats: Remove table scraps, human food, and snacks from the diet. If treating your dog, ensure to cut back on their food proportionately. For example, if you’re feeding them yogurt or a large milk bone, you need to minimize their regular kibble. Alternatively, serve them low-calorie snacks like carrot sticks to help them maintain their weight.
When you own a Great Dane, always be conscious of the dog’s weight and diet plan. Follow proper exercise, which helps in mental and physical stimulation. Exercise and activities keep your Dane fit and healthy. Their diet must include needed nutrients, and be extra mindful not to overfeed them. Overweight Great Danes can lead to lifelong problems and possibly lessen their life span. Be in touch with your veterinarian for consultation regarding any symptoms of obesity and overweight in your Great Dane.