While a bit of chubbiness might appear adorable, it's causing significant issues for dogs, leading to shorter lifespans. In this article, our vets in Roswell explore the problems associated with overweight dogs and provide guidance for owners to assist their beloved pets.
Is my dog overweight?
If you're concerned about your dog's weight, it's a good idea to visit the vet. During the visit, the vet will weigh and assess your dog's health. They'll determine if your dog is carrying extra pounds based on their breed and body type. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your dog's well-being, as excess weight can lead to significant health issues. To know if your dog needs a vet visit, watch for signs of possible overweight.
Consider Your Dog's Fitness Level
- If a dog is carrying excess weight, they might breathe heavily when walking slowly and could move more slowly than usual. They might also require extra naps during the day.
Feel For Your Pup's Ribs
- If your dog is at a good weight, you should easily feel their ribs beneath their skin. Your dog's chest should be wider than their belly, and there should be a noticeable inward curve from the chest to the stomach around their waist area. Please refer to the picture below for clarification.
Overweight dog chart
- You might not notice a distinct waistline if your dog is carrying excess weight. The chest and stomach could appear joined together when seen from the side. Check the image below to understand how a fit dog's side view appears.
How can I help my dog lose weight?
If you're concerned about your dog's weight, it's a good idea to visit the vet. Gaining extra pounds could signal a potential health issue. The vet will determine whether your dog's weight gain is linked to an underlying problem. If not, they'll recommend a safe diet and exercise regimen to help your dog shed those extra pounds. Your vet might also offer some helpful suggestions to assist your dog in losing 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 health checkups are important for your dog's well-being, even if your pet appears healthy. These visits allow your vet to monitor your dog's weight and catch any health problems early. It's best to arrange these appointments yearly or twice a year. If your dog is working on losing weight, make sure to keep in touch with your vet for updates and possible diet changes.
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.