While you may think your dog's extra pounds make them extra cuddly, that extra weight could negatively affect your pup's longevity and health. In this blog, our Fort Collins vets discuss ways you can tell your dog is overweight, and the steps you should take.
How to Tell Your Dog is Overweight
If you think your dog is overweight you need to bring them to the vet for a checkup. Your vet will be able to weigh your up and conduct a comprehensive examination to determine their overall health and inform you if your dog is overweight based on their breed and body build.
Excess weight in dogs could contribute to a range of painful and serious medical conditions in dogs. This makes it essential to help your dog stay at a healthy weight.
If you don't know if it's necessary to take your dog to the vet, we have listed some signs that can help you determine if your pooch is overweight.
If your pooch is a healthy weight you should be able to feel their ribs without a thick layer of fat over them. Your dog's chest should be wider than their abdomen, and there will be a noticeable tuck-up from chest to stomach about where their waist should be (see the following illustration).
Dogs that are overweight will generally have no visible waistline and no distinction between the chest and stomach when viewed side-on. Overweight dogs often pant even when walking relatively slowly, and may walk slower or need to take more naps than before.
Ways to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Weight gain could be a symptom of a serious underlying condition, so if you suspect that your pooch is overweight schedule an appointment with your vet. If your vet says your dog is overweight and there aren't any underlying health problems causing their weight gain they will prescribe an exercise and diet plan to help get your dog's weight back on track.
Below we have shared a few ways you can help your pup lose their extra pounds.
Regular ExerciseKeep to a regular exercise schedule for your dog, including going for walks twice a day and playtime outside once a day. Playing fetch or frisbee can help you and your dog to form a closer bond as well as provide your pooch with a fun way to burn a few extra calories.
Diet & FeedingYour vet will be able to calculate just the correct amount of calories your dog needs to be fed at every meal and prescribe a low-calorie diet food to help with your dog's weight. Ensure that you feed your pup at the same time each day and that you measure their food portions based on their ideal weight for their size or breed.
Annual (or Twice-Yearly) Wellness Checkups
Even when you're sure that there is nothing wrong with your pup, take your dog to the vet every year for a routine wellness exam. Annual or twice-yearly wellness exams allow your veterinarian to monitor your pet's weight and spot the early signs of illness so that conditions can be treated before they become more serious.
If your dog begins following a weight loss plan, visit your vet for follow-up appointments so that your pet's progress can be monitored and dietary adjustments made if 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.