Being a little chubby may seem cute, but it presents a significant issue for dogs, potentially reducing lifespan. In this article, our vets in Meadow Vista will discuss the problems associated with overweight dogs and provide guidance on how owners can assist 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. Maintaining an optimal weight for your dog is essential, as excess weight can lead to various significant and uncomfortable health issues.
To determine if your dog requires a veterinary visit, be vigilant for signs indicating potential excess 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 daily. 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
- Routine wellness examinations are essential for your dog's well-being, regardless of your pet's apparent condition. These examinations allow your veterinarian to monitor your dog's weight and identify potential health concerns at an early stage. It is advisable to arrange these checkups on an annual or semi-annual basis. If your dog is undergoing a weight reduction program, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian for regular assessments and potential modifications to their dietary regimen.
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.