It can be difficult to tell if your dog is overweight, particularly in long hair breeds. Today our Greensboro vets share some signs that your canine companion is carrying extra weight, and what you should do.
Is my dog overweight?
The first thing to do if you suspect your dog is overweight is to make a vet appointment for your pet. Your veterinarian will weigh your dog, examine your pup to determine their overall health, then let you know if your pet is overweight based on their build and breed standards.
Obesity can be a contributing factor to many serious and painful conditions in dogs which is why keeping your dog at a healthy weight is essential.
If you're unsure whether a trip to the veterinarian is called for there are some signs that will give you a good indication of whether or not your pup is overweight.
You should be able to feel your pup's ribs without a thick layer of fat obscuring them. Your dog's chest should be notably wider than their abdomen, and there will be a tuck-up from their chest to stomach.
A dog that is overweight will generally have no real waistline and no distinction between their chest and stomach when viewed from the side. Overweight dogs may also pant when walking, walk a bit slower than they should need to based on their age and size, or take more naps than usual.
Check out the overweight dog chart included in this blog for a visual understanding of how to know if your dog is overweight.
Ways to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Unexplained weight gain can be a sign of serious illness, so if you think that your pooch is overweight a trip to the vet is called for. If your vet determines that your dog is overweight and there are no underlying illnesses causing the weight gain, they will prescribe a diet and exercise regimen to help get your pooch back on track.
Here are some things you can do to help your pup lose weight.
Increasing Your Dog's ExerciseKeep to a strict exercise schedule for your dog, including twice-daily walks and some regularly scheduled outdoor playtime. Playing fetch or frisbee can help you and your dog form a closer bond as well as provide your pet with a fun way to burn calories.
Changes to Your Pup's Diet & FeedingYour vet is able to calculate the right number of calories to feed your dog at each meal and prescribe a low-calorie diet food for your pet if they feel it is necessary. Make sure your dog eats at the same time every day, and that you measure out the portions carefully based on the ideal weight for their breed and size.
Wellness Checks To Monitor Weight & Overall Health
Although it may seem unnecessary, annual or twice-yearly wellness exams with your primary care veterinarian can help to keep your dog healthier throughout their lifetime. Your vet will be able to watch for early signs of illness (before conditions become serious) and monitor your pet's weight and overall health.
If your dog is following a weight loss plan, visit your vet for follow-up appointments so that your dog's progress can be monitored and dietary adjustments can be 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.