Have you ever thought that your Akita might be a little overweight? Is it your fault? Do you feed him too much? Do you feed him the wrong food? Do you allow him to exercise properly? This article will give you all the information you need to know about the link between Akitas and their likelihood of becoming obese. It has been intensely researched and all the below information has been trustily sourced. After you have finished reading, you will have gained all the appropriate knowledge you need to be able to respectfully judge if your Akita is, or isn’t, obese.
So, you ask, are Akitas prone to obesity? Unfortunately, the answer is simple… yes, obesity is certainly a significant health problem for large breeds such as Akitas. The quantity of food and type of food that you feed him, the amount of exercise he gets, along underlying health conditions will all contribute to the likelihood of your Akita becoming obese.
Continue reading this article to find a conclusive answer to ‘Are Akitas prone to obesity?’. You will also find out which ingredients in his food you should avoid, details on exercise regimes, and what to do if you realize your Akita is in fact, obese. We will also cover the correct portion size, depending on the age, size, and health of your dog, along with other health conditions that might affect whether he will experience obesity. Of course, if you keep an eye on all of these factors, your Akita’s weight will be perfectly stable.
Are Akitas Prone To Obesity?
There are a lot of variables that can affect your Akita’s weight and whether he’s at risk of becoming obese, but all in all, Akitas are a breed of dog that is prone to obesity. Thankfully, there are several things you can do as an owner to help prevent him from gaining a dangerous amount of weight.
Firstly, the type of food that you feed him might be increasing his risk of obesity, therefore, even if you aren’t particularly concerned about his weight, you should check the current food to ensure it’s suitable. Food with a high calorie and sugar content is not beneficial for large dogs, especially when they hit adulthood, the excess of both will contribute to weight gain and if not correctly monitored, severe obesity.
If your Akita is an adult or a senior, you shouldn’t be feeding him puppy food; this contains ingredients that are designed for growth and development and are not necessary for grown-up pups.
What Is A Healthy Weight For An Akita?
The average weight for an adult female Akita is 70-100 pounds and around 100-130 pounds for a male. Weight can vary depending on the height of the dog, the taller he is, the more bone mass he has, and therefore, the more he will weigh. Akitas are usually very muscular, especially males and this also contributes to the overall weight. If you are unsure how to weigh your dog, take him to your local veterinarian and they should be happy to weigh him for you.
Bear in mind, when you take your Akita to get weighed, take him in the morning before you feed him to calculate an accurate weight without food or water in his stomach. While wondering if your Akita is a healthy weight, you should also take into consideration if your dog has been spayed (for females) or neutered (for males). The process of spaying or neutering can result in a decrease in testosterone and an increase in a certain hormone that influences appetite. The increase in appetite may mean that your dog ingests more, or wants to ingest more food, therefore weighing more.
Is My Akita Overweight? What Should I Do?
So, one day you look at your dog and ask yourself ‘Are Akitas prone to obesity, and should I be worried about his weight?’. After a little research, maybe while reading this article, you realize that your Akita is in fact…obese. Often, dog owners don’t notice their well-loved pets’ weight gain, usually because it happens slowly. We see them all day, every day and this means changes in their weight become less apparent to us.
Once you’ve accepted the truth that your loyal and gentle giant is overweight, what should you do? Well, the first point of call would be to create a stable exercise regime and most importantly, stick to it. Understandably, sometimes we don’t feel like trolling around the street or woods just to exercise our dog, but in reality, it is necessary to aid weight loss. If you don’t already, then you should also create a food plan for him, on what days and what times he should be fed along with the portion size.
Also, I know it might be tempting to feed him treats now and again, but you need to go cold turkey with these when trying to reduce his weight. Most treats contain a high level of salts and sugars and these are a serious contributor to weight gain. A crucial point is if your dog is usually active but for some reason, bad weather or maybe injury, its exercise level has been reduced, you should then reduce his food intake too.
Another important point is that if you realize your Akita is on the incorrect diet, maybe you still have him on puppy food and he’s an adult now or maybe his current food contains too many calories, do not make a quick change to his diet. Find the correct food and mix it with the old food, adding a bit more of the new food each day until, after several weeks, he’s eating just the new and correct food. This will eliminate any potential digestion issues linked to food changes.
Do Akitas Have Health Problems?
Akitas have a few common health problems, firstly they are susceptible to viral and bacterial infections however if you ensure they are fully vaccinated, this shouldn’t be a worry for you. This breed also commonly suffers from parasites of all kinds from fleas and ticks to hookworms and roundworms. Surprisingly, even parasites can affect the weight of your Akita, especially worms.
When any dog has wormed it tends to eat anything and everything in sight, this could lead to him stealing food from your other pets, concluding in weight gain and in the long run, potential obesity. Akitas are also prone to bloating, and not just after eating a little too much dinner. Bloating can be very dangerous, the stomach twists and fills with gas and this cuts off blood flow to the stomach.
Although this is rare, if it ever happens, you should take him to the vet immediately to avoid this being fatal. Hypothyroidism is another condition that is common in Akitas, it relates to the thyroid and is commonly understood, the thyroid is what controls weight gain in humans and it’s no different for dogs.
One of the main signs of this condition is weight gain and sudden weight gain at that. If you notice he has suddenly gained weight, it could be linked to a thyroid condition and again, you should take him to the vet immediately.
Cancer is a lot more common in older dogs than younger dogs, and Akitas tend to live to a ripe old age, therefore are at risk of developing cancer in their golden years. The most common forms of cancer in Akitas are Lymphoma and Lymphosarcoma, luckily these can be identified through a common blood test that you should have done at his annual check-up.
Osteosarcoma is a form of bone cancer that is common in large and giant dogs such as Akitas, especially when they are middle-aged. This cancer is more difficult to notice and its most common symptom is limping, if you notice this, take him to the vet right away.
Finally, the most common health condition, again often relating to larger dogs, are hip and joint issues. This is because after years and years of getting up and down, the hip joints become worn and painful and as your dog gets older you may notice he starts to struggle with movement in general.
Unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured, and only in rare cases are hip replacements offered, therefore, if your dog starts to struggle you should take him to your local vet. They will likely advise you to adjust his food intake due to his lack of exercise to avoid sudden weight gain.