Obesity is becoming more common in dogs, and it's not good for their health. In this article, our vets in Los Angeles will talk about how to tell if your dog is overweight and what you can do to help them.
Should I Worry if My Dog is Overweight?
If you think your dog might be overweight, the first step is to see your vet. Extra weight in dogs could be a sign of underlying health issues or lead to problems like diabetes or joint point.
To determine if your dog is overweight, your vet will perform a comprehensive examination and weigh them on a scale. After the exam, your vet will inform you if your pup is overweight, considering their breed and body type.
Is my dog overweight?
If you're not sure where your dog needs a vet visit, there are a few simple ways to check at home:
Feel Your Dog's Ribs
If your dog is overweight, you will not be able to feel their ribs because the fat would be obstructing them. Normally, you should be able to feel your pup's ribs, which would be similar to the back of your hand.
Look For Their Waist
From above or the side, an overweight dog won't have a distinct waistline. Their stomach and best might blend together.
Monitor Your Dog's Endurance & Energy
Lower fitness and energy levels are often seen in dogs that are overweight. You might see them panting or notice them walking slower than normal for dogs of their breed, size, and age. They may also sleep more than usual.
Check Out The Overweight Dog Chart
Following is a visual displaying the different weight categories for dogs. This chart should give you a visual understanding of how dogs look when they are below normal and overweight.
Why is My Dog Overweight?
There could be many explanations for why your dog is overweight, here is a list of the most common reasons why your canine companion could be experiencing this condition:
- Taking in more calories than they can burn through physical exercise
- Decrease in their ability to exercise due to the effects of aging, such as arthritis or other conditions
- Eating too many treats, table scraps, or other high-calorie foods
What should I do if my dog is overweight?
If your dog unexpectedly gains weight, it could mean they are facing a serious health issue. If you think your dog is overweight, it's important to see the vet.
If your vet rules out any underlying health problems causing the weight gain. They will develop a plan to get them back on track, including a prescribed diet and exercise regime.
Here are some things your vet might suggest to help your dog lose weight:
Strick to a daily route of outdoor playtime and two walks. Fun activities like frisbee and fetch can also strengthen your bond with your dog while burning calories.
Modified Feeding & Diet
Your vet is able to calculate the right amount of calories to feed your dog at every meal. If they feel it is necessary, they might also prescribe a low-calorie diet food for your pet.
Many vets will also suggest that you have your dog eat at the same times every day when they have to stick to a weight-loss plan. They may also have you carefully measure the portions you feed them, following what is noted on the food packaging based on your dog's breed and ideal weight.
Regular check-ups, usually once or twice a year, let your vet check your dog's weight and overall health and spot early signs of illness before they get worse. If your dog is on a weight loss program, schedule follow-up visits with your vet to track progress and adjust their diet as necessary.
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.