Being a little chubby may seem cute, but it's actually becoming a big problem for dogs. It can shorten their lives. In this article, we'll discuss why overweight dogs are a problem and how owners can help their furry friends.
Is my dog overweight?
If you think your dog might be too heavy, it's time for a vet visit. Your vet will weigh your dog and examine them to check their overall health. The vet will let you know if your dog is overweight based on their breed and body shape. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is crucial because being overweight can cause many serious and painful health problems for dogs. If you're not sure if your dog needs to see the vet, look for these signs that they may be carrying extra weight.
Consider Your Dog's Fitness Level
- If a dog is overweight, they may pant while walking slowly and may also walk at a slower pace than usual. They may need to take more naps throughout the day as well.
Feel For Your Pup's Ribs
- If your dog is at a healthy weight, you should be able to feel their ribs without much fat covering them. Your dog's chest should be broader than their belly, and there should be a visible tuck-up from the chest to the stomach around their waist area (refer to the picture below).
Overweight dog chart
- If your dog is overweight, you might not see a clear waistline, and the chest and stomach might blend together when viewed from the side. Take a look at the picture below to see what a healthy dog's side view looks like.
How can I help my dog lose weight?
If you think your dog is overweight, take them to the vet. Weight gain can be a sign of a serious illness. Your vet will check if your dog is overweight due to an underlying illness or not. If there is no underlying illness, your vet will suggest a diet and exercise plan to help your dog lose weight safely. Here are some things your vet might suggest to help your dog lose weight.
- It's important to give your dog regular exercise, like taking them for two walks a day and playing outside once a day. Playing games like fetch or frisbee not only helps your dog stay active, but also strengthens your bond with them. Plus, it's a fun way for your dog to burn off some extra energy.
Diet & Feeding
- Your veterinarian can determine the exact amount of food your dog needs to eat at every meal to maintain a healthy weight. They may also suggest a special low-calorie diet for your pup to help them lose weight. It's important to feed your dog consistently each day and measure the portions according to their ideal weight for their breed or size.
Yearly (or Twice-Yearly) Checkups
- Regular wellness exams are crucial for your dog's health, even if your pet seems fine. These checkups help your vet keep track of your dog's weight and detect any potential health issues early on. It's recommended to schedule these exams annually or twice a year. If your dog is on a weight loss plan, it's important to follow up with your vet for progress checks and potential adjustments to their diet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.