Can You Tell Your Dog Is Overweight?
It is quite common for your canine friend to get a bit bulky with time. It is very common for dogs to gain some pounds; most of the dogs in this world are obese. However, you should keep monitoring your dog’s weight if it seems to be increasing because obesity can cause your dog many undesirable diseases and unwanted problems.
We know how cute a chubby pooch looks! And the feeling of cuddling with the plump furball is wholesome; however, you have to understand that the extra weight on your dog’s body might be extremely detrimental for him! Yes, this weight can cause an increased risk of aliments such as diabetes and heart diseases, high blood pressure, and even cancer!!
In this article, we will discover how you can monitor your pup’s weight and why doing so is imperative to maintain your dog’s good health. So, if you are looking how to tell if your puppy has put on weight, you have landed just at the right article that will enlighten you about the signs you need to look for to determine if your dog’s weight is towards the heavier side and he needs to lose some weight! You will also learn how you can manage your canine buddy’s weight so he can have a healthier and happier life!
How To Tell Your Dog Is Overweight?
Examine His Body Shape!
One of the very common and simple ways to check your dog’s weight is just by examining his body. Humans do it all the time for their fellow human beings, so why not for dogs? If you notice your dog has gotten larger and/or rounder, and is having a rotund belly, then this is an indication for you that your dog is indeed getting overweight! Dogs that are overweight have plump waists and a heavy build. So, if your dog is having a round and oval shape, you should be concerned, start giving him healthy meals, and stop giving him his favorite sugary and unhealthy snacks and replace them with healthy alternative treats!
Feel Your Canine Friend’s Ribs!
A renowned veterinarian at Whitehouse Veterinary Animal Hospital, Dr. Sara Ochoa, states that the feel and prominence of a dog’s ribs is a major indicator of your dog’s weight. If you can feel your dog’s ribs without having to press hard, then your dog is fit and doesn’t need to lose weight. However, if you need to push hard because of the fat, you should start making your dog lose some kilos!
Examine Your Pup’s Sides
It would be best if you vigilantly observed your dog’s sagging waist or a swinging stomach, as these two are key indicators of your dog’s obesity. Suppose you viewed your dog from the side and saw his sagging waist and an oval-shaped and beefy belly, then you should know that your dog is indeed overweight and should lose some pounds to get fit. Obesity is really unhealthy, and you should try your best to get your dog rid of it. If you want to quickly examine your dog’s side to find out if he is obese, then notice your dog’s abdomen; it should not be at the same level as his chest if he is fit.
The Body Condition Score!
The body condition score is a hands-on assessment to check your dog’s physical condition. The main idea of this test is that it considers how easily you can feel and see your dog’s ribs, spine, and bones. You can see your dog is fit by examining these features:
- If you can easily see his ribs, then know that he does not need to lose weight. Ribs can indicate the physical condition of your dog, so you can easily know if your dog needs to lose weight or not.
- If your dog has an hourglass figure and does not have a bloated belly, then know that he is in good shape.
- If he has a defined waistline, then you don’t have to worry about starting a weight loss program for your dog.
- After examining your pup’s figure, you can assign a score from 1 to 9 to your dog according to his body weight, where a 1-3 score indicates that your dog has a very visible waistline and a flat tummy; in short, he is underweight. A score of 4-5 is ideal. These figures tell that your dogs’ ribs and bones are not visible, but they can be felt without pushing hard through the skin. A score of 6-9 indicates that your dog is bloated and overweight, and you should start preparing a healthy diet plan for him. Dogs with this score have sagging waists and thick fat layers on their bodies.
Check Fat Pads in Your Dog
Your dog is overweight when your dog has fat sacks between his legs and on top of his hips, and he shakes while walking. To monitor these deposits of fat in your dog’s body, you can inspect your dog’s hips while he is having his petting sessions.
Why Does Your Dog Become Overweight?
1. They Love to Binge Eat!
If you are a dog mom/dad, you must be aware of how curious these naughty creatures are! From socks and underwear to candies and chocolates, they want to have a lick of each item. Dogs also have a habit of overeating, even if it’s not their favorite food. They are huge foodies, and they love to devour all sorts of food. Sometimes dogs get bloated because of having an excessive amount of food.
2. Lack Of Engagement in Physical Activities
Sometimes you get super occupied with work and forget to take your dog out on walks. We totally understand you because so many of the pet owners experience situations where they are busy and hustling with work. Because of that, their canine friend’s physical activities are placed on the back burner.
This situation is even worse when your dog isn’t an energetic one! Make sure you get your dogs some toys to play with or ask your friend to take your dog to a park where he could play with birds and children or roam around the garden and cheerfully play with birds.
3. They Might Be Depressed!
Studies have shown that dogs that go through depression are four times more likely to experience weight gain and as a result obesity. Obviously, when a dog is miserable and gloomy, he will have irregular sleep schedules and won’t have a proper appetite. Moreover, he will be inactive and withdrawn. As a result of these symptoms mentioned before, your dog will experience weight gain.
4. Weight Gain Might Occur Because Of Pain
Your dog might be experiencing weight gain because of a bad health condition. He might be having problems in moving because of joint or back pain, thyroid issue, or some endocrine or metabolic disorder. As a result, he might not be engaging in physical activities. So, it is your responsibility to take care of your dog and take him for frequent checkups to the veterinarian.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Gaining Weight Excessively?
Consult a Vet for Proper Diet Plan
Are you going through a situation where your dog has gained some extra pounds, and you are looking for the perfect diet plan for him? Well, don’t fret because your veterinarian will have the ideal solution for you.
You should consult a vet and brief him about your dog’s situation so that he advises you on the appropriate food diet and recommended portion sizes that you should give your dog. Dog’s need food that provides them full nutrition, and all-purpose dog food does not fulfill these nutritional requirements, so you should try to abstain from feeding this freeze-dried raw pet food.
Additionally, large-breed dogs have different requirements of nutrient profile as compared to dogs that belong to small breeds. Large breed dogs are required to have a lesser amount of food so that they grow slowly and are less prone to the risk of orthopedic problems.
Fix Their Food Timings!
Don’t make food available for your dog at any time of the day. Instead, give them food only twice or thrice during the day and at fixed times, and avoid giving them snacks at random times. This habit will enable them to learn about their food timings, and they won’t stick their tongues out for food whenever they want. Dogs are extremely clever creatures and will learn about their food timings 2-3 days after you give them their lunch and dinner at specified timings.
Try Using Interactive Feeding Toys
Interactive feeding toys like puzzle feeders are a great way to make your dog move and work for their food. These tots slow down the consumption process and provide the mental stimulation that improves their mental health. This is another way to lessen your dog’s intake of calories and help them maintain their weight.
All in all, there are numerous ways through which you can monitor your dog’s weight and conclude if he is actually getting obese or not. You can manage your canine buddy’s weight in a variety of ways as well. Don’t forget to consult your veterinarian when you are monitoring your dog’s weight because your vet can only provide you with ways on how you could successfully decrease and manage your fur ball’s weight. Consider using interactive feeding toys. These types of toys allow dogs to work for their food. Dogs eat more slowly, and they have the added bonus of expending more calories.