Here are a few tips for telling if your dog is overweight and some advice on what to do if you think they’ve gained a few extra pounds.
Assess your dog’s shape
Analyzing your dog’s figure is a simple way to tell if they are within a healthy body weight. When looking at your dog from above, you should be able to see a slight definition at their waist, just before the hindquarters. If there is no definition whatsoever, your pup may be overweight.
Of course, if your pup has thick fur, it may be tough to gauge their weight just by looking. In that case, try this next technique!
Can you feel your dog’s ribs?
When you run your fingertips over your dog’s side, you should be able to feel their ribs slightly. If the ribs are very prominent, your pup may be underweight. If you can’t feel them at all, your dog may need to slim down a little bit.
Note any behaviour changes
Your dog’s behaviour may also indicate that they are overweight. Carrying extra pounds may cause your dog to become lethargic. They may pant excessively, even on short walks. In some cases, they may become resistant to walking or playing even if they’ve previously been very active.
How to correct your dog’s weight gain
The first step in correcting your dog’s weight gain is noting the potential cause. The culprit could be as simple as overeating or reduced exercise, but illnesses and medications can also cause dogs to pack on pounds. While diet and exercise are likely easy to correct, they may not help if your dog’s weight gain is associated with a health problem.
One common reason dogs are overweight is because they receive excessive amounts of treats. If you live in a multi-person household, it might be hard to keep track of just how many calorie-rich snacks your pup receives throughout the day. Instead of cutting treats out of your dog’s diet entirely (what kind of life would that be?!), start with portion control!
Rollover’s Mini Training Bites are delicious and low in fat! Each treat is just 4.5 calories and is made with healthy, natural ingredients!
Staying mindful of any physical or behavioural changes your dog experiences is always wise, including their fitness. The tips above should help you gauge whether your dog is within a healthy body weight. But keep in mind that every breed and every dog is different.
Some pups are naturally very slender, while others tend to carry a little more weight or may have loose skin or fluffy coats that may make them appear more out of shape than they truly are. Get to know your dog’s unique baseline and use that as a basis for measurement. You can always consult your veterinarian for guidance if you need it!