TAGS: Health | Diet

7 Telltale Signs Your Dog Might be Overweight

03 Sep, 2023

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Let's be honest: it's tough to say no to our dogs when they beg for an extra treat with their big, round puppy eyes. But are these extra treats leading to your pup getting a little bit rounder around the edges? In this article, we go through 7 telltale signs that your dog might be overweight and that it might be time for a doggy diet. It's important to monitor your dog's weight and body condition to ensure they are healthy and feeling their best.


The importance of maintaining a healthy weight for dogs

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is crucial for their overall well-being as it helps them stay fit and live a longer, happier life. If dogs become and remain overweight for extended periods, they can develop diabetes, joint pains, and heart problems. These health issues will not only hurt your dog but will break the bank with unwanted vet bills! When your pup is at the right weight, they will be more playful and active, which will result in them being happier overall. Even though they seem thrilled when we give them extra food, it is our responsibility as dog owners to know when it is enough. Ensuring that your dog remains at a healthy weight is ensuring that they will live a longer and happier life.


Common causes of weight gain in dogs

Just like humans, the main reasons for your dog gaining weight are overfeeding, lack of exercise, or both. Depending on the size and breed of your dog, you need to learn the right amount of food to give them in a day. If you are unsure, it is always best to speak to your vet to understand how much food you should give your dog daily. Dogs are also creatures of habit, so knowing when and how much food they will receive during the day will comfort them. As far as exercise, Some dog breeds require vigorous exercise daily, and others can get by with a 30-45 minute walk. As a dog owner, you should know if your dog is getting adequate exercise based on their behavior at home. If they are relaxed and seem comfortable, there is a good chance that they are getting the exercise they need. If they seem agitated and energetic all the time, you may need to incorporate more dog park visits into the daily routine.

Big dog eating



7 Signs that your dog may be overweight


1. Ribs Are Not Easily Felt

You should be able to feel your dog's ribs without pressing too hard. If you can't feel them, or if you need to press firmly to feel them, your dog may be overweight. The ribs should have a slight covering of flesh but not be buried under layers of fat.

Fat Pug Dog


2. Lack of a Visible Waist

When you look at your dog from above, there should be a visible waistline, typically tapering in slightly after the ribcage and before the hips. An overweight dog will have a more rectangular or even round shape.


3. Difficulty Breathing

If you notice that your dog has been having trouble breathing, especially during physical activity or hot weather, there is a chance that they may be overweight. If you notice this, it is certainly wise to take your dog to the vet, and they should be able to tell you if your pup needs to shed a few pounds.


4. Joint Problems

Extra weight puts stress on your dog's joints, which can lead to conditions like arthritis. If your dog is reluctant to climb stairs or shows signs of discomfort when moving, it could be due to excess weight.

Fat dog


5. Change in Behavior

Dogs that are overweight may become more irritable or anxious. They can also be more food-focused and prone to begging. Trying to avoid feeding your dog when they are begging is crucial, otherwise, they will learn that this is the way to get more food. A dog will never know when it is enough; their owners must decide that.


6. Lethargy

Overweight dogs often have lower energy levels and are less active than they should be. They may be less interested in play or exercise.


7. Visible Fat Pads

Check for fat pads around your dog's neck, back, and the base of the tail. These fat deposits can be a clear indicator of overweight or obesity.