Dogs are said to be obese when their weight is 30% or more above the model weight for that specific breed. Obesity is most common when there is an imbalance between the amounts of energy consumed compared to the amount of energy expended. Older, female dogs tend to be obese more commonly as they engage in lesser amount of healthy activities comparatively.
Some breeds tend to be more obese than the others. These include:
- Cairn Terriers
- West Highland White Terriers
- Scottish Terriers
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- Basset Hounds
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Dachshunds, Beagles
- Cocker Spaniels
- Labrador Retrievers
Age also plays an important role in obesity. You should adjust the amount of food you feed your dog as they become older in order to avoid obesity. Sadly obesity contributes to many health problems including:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory issues
- Orthopedic problems
So how would you spot if your dog is obese or not?
The most reliable way to find out if your dog is obese or not is to take them to your vet.
To do it on your own, weigh your dog and compare their weight with an online dog breed weight chart. If the weight is more than the ideal weight range of that particular breed, your dog is probably obese.
Check the shape of your dog’s waist. Normally, it should taper inwards. If it doesn’t, your dog is overweight. Similarly, your dog is likely to be obese if you cannot see a clear tuck at the abdomen.
You should be easily able to feel their ribs when pressing your fingers against them. If you’re unable to do so, your dog has excessive fat.
Even though obesity is quite common among dogs, it is not untreatable. Below are some ways to get rid of your dog’s excessive fat.
- Talk to your vet about introducing a light diet for your dog which is rich in proteins and low on carbs.
- Try to feed your dog at regular intervals and never exceed recommended daily amounts.
- Restrict all kinds of treats and prevent your dog from consuming table scraps.
- Increase the amount of daily exercise by taking your dog for long walks, encouraging activities in the park and involving them in activities around the house like playing with the FLiPSTiCK Chase and Tug Interactive dog toy.
If your dog doesn’t lose weight despite all these measures, then get them checked by a vet to rule out other causes behind the weight gain including hypothyroidism, insulinoma and hyperadrenocorticism.