The Mini Labradoodle has quickly won hearts for its intelligence and friendliness. They are a small mixed-breed canine with Labrador and Mini Poodle ancestry. You can expect high energy and a brimming personality, which means these distinguished dogs should have no problems maintaining their weight. Unfortunately, if they have to contend with obesity, the excess weight can cause harm to their joints and cause a decline in their immune health.
Mini Labradoodles are known to inherit a mix of temperaments from their parents. Keeping your loveable animal companion active shouldn’t be too hard as they descend from naturally active, smart, and confident breeds. If you notice a decline in their energy, you may need to take a closer look at their physical health.
Obesity in dogs is on the rise and is considered a health threat that should be taken seriously. It’s defined as an abundance of body fat that can cause health issues and impact a dog’s overall well-being and quality of life.
Mini Labradoodle Obesity Explained
The Mini Labradoodle varies in size, growing to between fourteen and twenty-four inches tall. They can weigh between ten and thirty pounds. However, you must keep in mind, the smaller the canine, the more lightweight they should be. If your little animal companion has trouble moving around and is looking a little pudgy, they might be overweight. Although it may seem innocent enough, excessive weight gain can cause a myriad of health issues for dogs. Canine diabetes, heart issues, kidney disease, chronic UTI, liver disease, thyroid issues, high blood pressure, breathing problems, bone/joint problems, trouble with overall mobility, and even cancer are just some of the adverse health effects related to obesity in dogs.
Data collected by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found, in the United States, obesity affects more than half of domesticated dogs. More recent studies indicate the causes aren’t simply overfeeding and lack of adequate exercise. Obesity can stem from genetics and underlying health conditions.
Obesity can lead to Canine Diabetes
As stated by the ASPCA, diabetes develops in dogs when the body does not respond to insulin or produce it at normal levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help control blood glucose levels. It’s more common for dogs to suffer from Type 1 diabetes, which means their pancreas doesn’t make normal amounts of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is something dogs are born with, whereas Type 2 diabetes, a less common form, can develop later in life.
A small dog suffering from diabetes coupled with obesity will also be dealing with increased anxiety and stress. When their blood sugar levels are too low or too high, it’s reflected in their behavior. They may seem anxious, whiney, or sad. No one wants to see their Mini Labradoodle struggle with those types of emotions, especially when there are easy ways to manage that stress. Investing in some calming snacks or natural stress-relieving sprays will help.
Obesity and the Heart
As more fat is packed onto their body, a Mini Labradoodle can struggle with healthy heart function. Fat deposits can build and create blockages in the arteries of the cardiovascular system. This forces the heart to work harder, which can cause hypertension (high blood pressure). Less than optimal heart health can also lead to respiratory issues. Your little pooch may have labored breathing and can develop a snoring habit as they struggle to breathe while sleeping.
If the cardiac system continues to struggle and the arteries remain clogged, this increases the risk of heart disease.
Obesity and Immune Health
A strong immune system helps fight off free radicals and prevent your dog from getting sick. When obesity is a factor in your canine’s health, their immune systems may suffer. Free radicals are present throughout the body. When there is an abundance of them, this creates an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidants in the body. A lack of enough antioxidants means there is nothing to prevent the oxidative stress that excessive free radicals can cause on the body’s cells.
The more oxidative stress the weaker a dog’s immune health can become. Obesity can cause inflammation throughout the canine’s body. When coupled with inflammation due to oxidative stress, the immune system may not be equipped to handle it. In such situations, your Mini Labradoodle may get sick more often.
Obesity, Arthritis, and Joint Problems
Mini Labradoodles are not meant to weigh as much as a mid-size dog. Their bone density, joints, and muscles will feel the strain of that extra weight. Arthritis and chronic joint issues are more common in elderly dogs. Nevertheless, if obesity is a factor for your pets, they can begin to develop bone and joint problems at an earlier age.
The most common form of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis (OA), which, according to ACVS, affects roughly a quarter of dogs in the United States. OA is defined as a chronic joint disease in which there is a decrease in joint cartilage and a buildup of calcium or bone formation in that area. This leads to chronic pain which can impact the mobility of the limb connected to that joint.
Although obesity may not be the cause of OA and joint problems, excess weight will worsen arthritis and joint issues.
Obesity and Rectum Disorders
Obese dogs may have trouble with their bowel movements. Their gut health can be compromised due to a non-nutritious diet. Unfortunately, smaller breed dogs, such as the Mini Labradoodle, may be at higher risk of rectum and anus-related diseases. For instance, anal sac disease is when clogs or infections in the anal glands or sacs appear. This type of disease is more common in smaller dogs.
Obesity in dogs can irritate the rectum and anal area. Anal sac disease in dogs happens when the muscles surrounding their rectum are too weak to properly compress their anal glands. Their rectum has outer anal glands that are squeezed out when the dog is defecating. A build-up in these glands happens when they are not fully squeezed out. Clogging occurs, making it easier for the glands to become inflamed. A buildup in these glands or sacks can also cause bacterial growth, which can eventually lead to infection.
Obesity and Cancer
No dog owner expects to hear the disheartening news that their Mini Labradoodle or other household pets have cancer. Nevertheless, obesity in dogs can increase the risk of getting cancer. According to experts, cancer is one of the leading causes of dog deaths. Although not all cancers have a root cause of obesity, being overweight will make the dog more susceptible to it. In AKC, statements made by veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne sum up what it means to have unsafe weight gain in dogs. Just a small amount of weight gain, such as a ten percent increase can impact the dog’s lifespan by a whopping one-third.
A dog with extra fatty tissue tends to attract more cancerous cells, and even a small percentage of weight gain will increase that risk. Obesity can cause chronic inflammation in arteries throughout the body. This constant stress on a small dog’s vascular system can lead to an increased risk of different cancers.
A weakened immune system due to increased oxidative stress can also play a role in cancer development in dogs. The National Cancer Institute states that when the body over-produces free radicals and there aren’t enough antioxidants to neutralize them, the extra free radicals will wreak havoc on the major components of cells. The damage can also affect the body’s DNA. This type of harm can lead to cancerous cells developing in certain areas of the body.
Causes Of Obesity In Mini Labradoodles
Mini Labradoodles are high-energy dogs, meaning they are playful and active by nature. When constant physical activity is interrupted, it might slow down their metabolism and make it easier to put on extra weight. The more weight gain, the harder it is for them to run around and be the outgoing little ones they usually are.
Some of the common causes of obesity in a Mini Labradoodle include insufficient physical activity, overfeeding, a non-nutritious diet, genetics, or constant stress. Dogs can also gain excess weight when they are healing from injuries, surgeries, or other health issues. This recovery time impacts their physical activity and natural metabolism.
If your Mini Labradoodle has Type 1 diabetes, it’s likely caused by issues with its immune system. When the immune system doesn’t function normally, it can cause problems to the pancreas. If there is stress or damage to the pancreas, it will impact the hormones it’s supposed to manufacture, such as insulin.
Obesity can be an inherited trait. The Mini Labradoodle is a descendant of Labrador Retrievers. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has research finding Labrador Retrievers have a genetic disposition for increased appetites. This makes them more susceptible to weight gain and obesity. If your Mini Labradoodle has Labrador relatives that exhibit this overeating gene, it could provide some explanation for their eating habits as well.
Life Impacts: How Obesity Can Affect Your Mini Labradoodle
The Mini Labradoodle is descended from lively ancestors with hunting and sporting backgrounds. Like their Labrador and Mini Poodle relatives, the Mini Labradoodle thrives by getting a lot of exercise. Obesity would be detrimental to their physical health, causing more stress on the body. Lacking sufficient physical activity could lead to behavioral changes. Your once playful little canine might become lackadaisical and less excited about their daily walks.
If your Mini Labradoodle is diagnosed with diabetes, weight management is paramount to keeping them obesity-free. Since the diagnosis is likely Type 1 diabetes, this means your little doggo will require life-long insulin injections.
For obese canines that suffer from arthritis, even a slight weight loss could result in a decrease in lameness. Lameness or the lack of mobility or the want to be mobile is caused by pain from arthritis. Chronic pain only worsens in dogs with obesity. Losing just a pound or two will result in a slight decrease in lameness from osteoarthritis.
Signs Your Mini Labradoodle Is Dealing With Obesity
The common signs your Mini Labradoodle is living with obesity include a rounder belly, labored breathing, overeating, lethargy, trouble moving around, and difficulty seeing or feeling their ribs. No matter the type of dog breed, a fit dog would have prominent ribs. If you can’t feel their ribs when rubbing and scratching their coats, that could indicate they are overweight. Evaluating their body shape is key. An oval-shaped or round doggo means they probably weigh more than they should. A saggy waist or swinging abdomen are further signs of an overweight dog.
Obesity can weaken your Mini Labradoodle’s immune health. A dysfunctional immune system can lead to frequent illnesses and can cause damage to some organs, such as the pancreas. It can even impact their gut health. If you notice your sweet pooch constantly catches colds or other mild illnesses, it could indicate a struggling immune system.
If you notice fatty pads or sacks around the dogs’ hips or legs, this indicates they are obese. Rectum or anus inflammation can also be a side-effect of obesity. Excess weight will make it harder for your Mini Labradoodle to run, jump, and play because those extra pounds could be placing too much pressure on their bones and joints. If they struggle to move around or develop arthritis at a younger age, pay special attention to their weight.
Increased snoring can also be a sign of obesity in dogs. Especially if they didn’t struggle to breathe while they slept. Smaller dogs don’t normally snore unless they have a sinus or respiratory issue unrelated to their weight. If you get woken up because your Mini Labrador begins to snore as loud as a human, you should be concerned. Being out of breath quicker from simple movements, a short walk, or light exercise can also stem from obesity.
How To Care For and Treat Your Mini Labradoodle For Obesity
If you notice your friendly household pet seems stressed out or anxious as they live with obesity, that mental stress can be related to their physical health. Being overweight makes it difficult, even painful to move around. It’s no wonder they might seem sad, which is the opposite of their spirited nature, a trait Mini Labradoodles are well known for. As you develop a treatment plan for them, just keep in mind that dogs can sync up with humans when it comes to stress. This means when you’re feeling stressed, so will they. Be mindful of your eating habits, comfort habits, and coping mechanisms concerning stress. Mini Labradoodles are intelligent and can mirror their family member’s behavior.
If your happy pooch suffers from anal sac disease due to obesity, effective treatment requires changes to their physical routine and eating habits. For instance, increasing their fiber intake will promote the necessary compression of the anal sac so the glands will properly empty during defecation. More fiber will also soften the stool, making it easier to pass the waste without causing them pain.
In cases where your Mini Labradoodle developed arthritis, the recommended treatment involves weight management and adjustments to their routine activity. This can help manage their pain and decrease their stress levels. Introducing calming dog snacks to help alleviate their stress will make a difference in their behavior. Such delicious treats can help them relax, thus improving their overall well-being.
To prevent your Mini Labradoodle from becoming obese when they are recovering from injury or surgery, planning a well-balanced diet is key. If their recovery period leaves them bed-ridden, having a nutritious diet will decrease their chances of gaining unwanted weight.
A calming cuddle bed can help to address your adorable doggo’s stress or anxiety from their health condition. Keeping them calm, rested, and comfortable will have a positive impact on their overall well-being.
How To Help Your Mini Labradoodle Live A Fulfilling Life With Obesity
A fulfilling life for a Mini Labradoodle includes letting their happy personalities shine. Promoting a playful lifestyle for them shouldn’t be a hard task, after all, that personality trait is already part of their nature. To help your loveable pooch live the best life possible, take the necessary steps to tackle their obesity and keep them active. This will prevent future weight gain and potential mild to severe health problems.
Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle can be challenging when your pooch isn’t calm enough to listen. Of course, with health factors like heart disease or cancer, getting your fun-loving animal companion comfortable enough to calm down and forget about their pain can be challenging. Luckily, there are calming zen chews that will help them focus on the tasks you have laid out for the day.
Reversing the negative impacts of obesity in dogs does not have to be difficult and is important in helping them have a fulfilling life. Simply following the recommended treatment while keeping their spirits up can make all the difference.