It’s quite common for many people to have a pup that’s a little pudgier than usual. In fact, a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention revealed that over 66.7% of canines in the US are obese or overweight. Unfortunately, the extra bulges can cause various health issues in your pupper, including canine diabetes, kidney diseases, skin problems, mobility, breathing difficulties, increased heat intolerance, liver and kidney issues, high blood pressure, painful arthritis, and certain cancers.
Over-feeding your pupper their favorite treats isn’t a good idea as it can shorten their lifespan significantly. Interestingly, a lifetime study dedicated to Golden Retrievers showed that being overweight decreased the doggos life expectancy by almost two to three years! Wondering how to tell if your doggo needs to shed off those few extra pounds to fight obesity? Read on to find ways to determine how you can get your pup to stay happy and healthy for years to come by identifying whether your fur baby is overweight.
#1- Body Shape
While we definitely don’t support body shaming, we urge all pawrents to examine their pup’s body shape from above. If the doggo looks rather oval-shaped or rotund, Fido is likely overweight. However, if the doggo has a straight build down the sides and a defined waist down the rear, it means you’ve got nothing to worry about as they’re at a healthy weight.
You can also feel the doggos ribs to be sure; if they’re prominent or you feel them without needing to press hard, then the doggo is fit. But if your doggo has fat pads on top of their hips or between their legs, it will waddle when they walk. Inspecting them properly during petting sessions can help determine if the pupper needs to lose some extra pounds to get to a healthy weight.
Obese and overweight puppers are usually inactive. They spend most of their time scarfing down their favorite foods. If your doggo is lethargic, has breathing difficulties, or becomes a couch potato who generally has trouble moving about, it might indicate obesity.
One of the easiest ways to tell if your pup is overweight is to weigh them properly at an experienced veterinarian. They will help you understand whether the doggo is overweight according to their breed and size because ‘healthy’ weight looks different for every dog breed. The vet can help thoroughly examine your doggo and compare various factors to a body condition score chart, which helps rank all doggos body types by shape.
If all signs reveal your pupper is, in fact, obese, it can shave off precious years from their life. Fortunately, you can avert or reverse some of these conditions by helping your pooch lose some weight to get healthy fur life.
According to their breed and age, start by gradually increasing the time you exercise your pup and reducing their calorie intake. From canine sports to agility classes, there are several ways to make your pup’s journey fun while ensuring they remain engaged. Discuss the diet plan and supplementary needs of your pupper with your vet and divide the means evenly into smaller portions so that they don’t feel hungry later in the day.
In this #NationalPetWellnessMonth, theDogHood wants to raise awareness about the overall health and wellness of puppers across the globe. We want pawrents to proactively feed their fur babies breed-appropriate diets that will help preempt various illnesses, boost immunity, and enhance overall health.
Join theDogHood community to find exclusive dog training tips and tricks and puppy training guides by experienced dog gurus. New and seasoned pawrents can also check out our informative blogs or watch Facebook live sessions and a web series dedicated to making pet ownership fun and easier while promoting the wellbeing of pups.
While you’re at it, we recommend downloading theDogHood App on your smartphone to plug into a warm, caring, and welcoming community of dog lovers in your neighborhood and beyond. You can use the App to find local DogHood hubs in the area, create or discover dog-friendly events, ask questions, and share cute videos and pictures of your doggo in the PAWFEED.
Once your pup comes down to a healthy weight, celebrate the milestone with fellow parents in the neighborhood with a dog-themed pawrtry where you can invite the pupper’s friends over for a memorable bash with yummy (but healthy) treats and lots of fun things to do.
Also, don’t forget to share your dog’s story and their journey from being fat to fit fur life on Hoomans of theDogHood . Many pup parents love reading heartwarming stories of dogs posted on the platform to learn some tips to deal with various issues pertaining to dog training.
We know you’re struggling to raise your doggo responsibly. To make things easier for all pawrents, we’ve created a QR code which you can scan to download the theDogHood App right away: