dog overweight

Is your dog overweight? Don’t take it lightly

 

Many of us don’t realize that our dog is overweight, because the weight gain is easy to overlook as it often takes place gradually over time. Even though it’s happening right in front of you, a few ounces here and there might not be immediately noticeable. However, they can really add up to some serious health issues.

dog overweight matters

Why being overweight matters

 

Even if you’ve noticed your dog is carrying a few extra pounds, you may not be aware how much it can affect his health. Being as little as 20% overweight can greatly increase the risk of your dog developing serious health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, arthritis, urinary stones or heart disease.

Plus, excess weight can not only have a negative impact on your dog’s general wellbeing, happiness and overall quality of life, it can also significantly shorten his life expectancy compared to a healthy-weight pet.

 

Is my dog overweight?

 

 

is dog overweight

Your dog may look just fine to you, but ideal weight varies by size and breed. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what your dog’s ideal weight is. Between check-ups, you can still assess if your dog is maintaining a healthy weight. Place your hand on his side, and if his ribs are hard to feel or even impossible to feel, he’s likely overweight.

  • Loss of an obvious waist
  • Collar needs loosening
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Slow movement
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bad temper
  • Sleeping more than usual

 

What causes weight gain in dogs?

 

Weight gain is the result of an increase in body fat. This is usually caused by eating too much, especially when combined with lack of exercise. But there can be other contributing factors, too.

 

AGE

Older dogs are less active, have less energy, and require fewer calories, which is why nutrition formulated for his age is vital to his weight and overall health.

BREED

Some dog breeds are more likely to gain weight

NEUTERING/SPAYING

Clinical studies have shown that the basic metabolism of neutered dogs is lower, and they require few calories

MEDICAL PROBLEMS

Very occasionally weight gain is associated with a medical disorder that may require specific treatment

OVERFEEDING

Dogs with unlimited access to food understandably eat more than they need — this includes table scraps from family members

OVEREATING

Many commercial foods are loaded with salt and fat, which can improve taste but make your dog want to gorge

 

Exercising with your dog

 

As well as feeding your dog the correct nutrition, promoting regular exercise will help the process of healthy weight loss. Here are a few workout tips for exercises you and your dog can do together.

 

power dog walks

Power dog walks with intervals

 

Take your dog for a walk on a leash. Throughout the walk, mix in some intervals of jogging, running or high stepping to help increase your heart rate and burn calories for both you and your dog.

dog squat tease

Dog squat tease

 

Stand with your legs spread shoulder width in preparation to do a leg squat. As you descend, tap your dog with his favorite toy. As you rise, lift the toy above your head to encourage your dog to jump after it. This can be done in your home and outside as well.

dog tag

Dog tag

 

Just like you did with your friends as a kid, play tag with your dog at your local dog park, in your backyard or even inside your house. You’ll both get a great cardio workout as your dog tries to chase you down.

choosing right dog food

Choosing the right dog food for weight loss

 

The food your dog eats directly affects his overall health and well-being. Balanced nutrition is an essential part of an active, healthy lifestyle. Eating too much dog food, snacks or people food can increase weight gain.

Proper nutrition plays a very important role in treating an overweight dog. Ask your vet about Hill’s line of weight management foods to help your dog lose weight and maintain a healthy & active life.

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Caring for Your Dog

ARTICLES AND tools

Pet Care Center

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    Dog And Bowl Learn the most important things to look for on a dog food label, from the ingredients and moisture content to the guaranteed analysis.
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    How often should I feed my dog? Learn how often (and what) to feed him at every stage of life, whether he's a puppy, adult or senior dog.
  • Can Dogs Get Brain Freeze?

    Learn if your dog can get brain freeze and what to do to avoid him from getting it.
  • Risks of Overfeeding Your Dog

    Learn how to spot signs that you might be overfeeding your dog and the health issues that eating too much might put him at risk for.
  • Can Dogs Be Vegan?

    Wondering if a vegan dog diet would work for your pup? Learn the health implications of vegan food for him and how to handle his diet if you are a vegan.
  • Does My Dog Have a Food Allergy?

    Learn facts about dog food allergies, such as common allergens and causes, and if hypoallergenic dog food can help once you've diagnosed his food allergy.

 

Put your overweight dog on the road to recovery.

 

If your dog is already having trouble with weight problems, there are plenty of
things you can do to improve his condition.

 

See Wellness Options