04 Dec Is My Dog Overweight?
Whether it be too many treats or lazy days, dogs will start gaining weight as soon as their calorie consumption outnumbers the calories they burn off. We all want the best for our furry friends, but sometimes we sneak some scraps from the table or opt to skip a walk when we have a good TV show on too many times.
If you’re not sure if your dog is overweight, the first thing you should do is take them to your vet for a physical evaluation and exam. Your PetWellClinic veterinarian will weigh your dog, examine their overall health, and identify what their weight should be based on their build and breed.
How do I know if my dog is overweight?
If you’re unsure whether you need to go to the vet, there are a couple of signs you can look for first before going into the clinic.
- Take note of how often your dog gets exercise.
Ideally your dog should get 30-45 minutes of exercise per day and even more if they are a bigger breed. This can include going on walks, playing fetch, swimming, and more. Daily exercise not only helps prevent your dog from becoming overweight, but it is also great for mental stimulation and prolonging their life.
To learn about tips for exercising with your dog, read our blog!
- Examine your dog’s ribs.
If you can feel their ribs without a thick layer of fat over them, your dog is at a healthy weight. Overweight dogs have a different silhouette than a healthy dog. They don’t have an obvious waistline and their chest and stomach are on the same plane when viewed from the side.
What happens if my dog is overweight?
The side effects of being an overweight dog affect every aspect of their life from their mood to their health. These effects include:
- Shortened lifespan
- More susceptible to certain diseases
- Breathing issues
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Decreased quality of life
- Joint problems
Some of these side effects are not only expensive to correct but painful for your pup. Studies have shown that dogs who didn’t lose weight after starting their weight loss program had lower vitality and higher emotional disturbances than the dogs who successfully lost weight.
What You Can Do if Your Dog is Overweight
There are several things you can do to get your dog back on the right track.
- Develop a Regular Exercise Routine
You can do this by taking your dog on walks or even playing with your dog. Depending on your dog’s breeds, there could be ways to play with them that encourage an active lifestyle. For example, if your dog is friendly with other dogs, you could take them to your local dog park for a quick and easy way to get them moving.
- Identify Appropriate Amount of Calories for Your Dog
The appropriate amount of calories your dog should have based on their breed. From there, find a healthy low-calorie kibble, measure out the recommended portions, and feed them at the same time everyday. If you’re insure what kind of food is best for your dog, talk to your PetWellClinic team to determine its needs.
Is it my fault my dog is overweight?
Although those big puppy eyes are persuasive, we control the access to the food our dogs eat. It can be tempting to cuddle all day with your pup on a rainy day or share your leftovers with them, but we have to do what’s best for our canine friends, not necessarily what’s easiest or the most fun. This is good news because moving forward, because you can help your dog lose weight with the right mindset and lifestyle changes. Your dog is depending on you, and with all of your new tools and solutions, you’ll know how to help them lose weight!
How PetWellClinic Can Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Helping your dog shed the pounds can feel like a big transition, but your veterinarian can walk you through the process step by step. At PetWellClinic, you can walk in at any point with no appointment and get started right away to get your dog to their healthy weight.
Your team of pet experts at your local PetWellClinic will weigh your dog, identify what their weight should be, examine them, and even recommend what type of food to get! You’re not in this alone, and trust us, your furry friend will thank you later.
One of the greatest parts about taking your dog to PetWellClinic? You don’t have to schedule an appointment ahead of time. With our walk-in model, appointments are never necessary. Just walk right in to check things like their weight, update their annual rabies vaccine, and refill on preventative medicine for issues like heartworms and fleas or ticks.