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Is my dog overweight?

Obesity in dogs is on the rise and poses a serious health risk to our canine companions. If your pooch seems extra cuddly they may be carrying a little too much weight. Today, our Statesboro vets explain how you can tell if your dog might be overweight, and what you should do.

Is my dog overweight?

If you suspect that your dog is overweight, you should take them to the vet for a checkup. Your veterinarian will examine your pet's overall health and weigh him. The vet will determine whether your dog is overweight based on the breed and build of your pet.

Many serious and painful conditions in dogs can be exacerbated by carrying extra weight. As a result, it is critical to assist your dog in maintaining a healthy weight throughout their life.

If you're not sure if a trip to the vet is necessary, here are some indicators that your dog is overweight.

Consider Your Dog's Fitness Level

  • Overweight dogs frequently pant even when walking slowly, and they may need to walk slower or take more naps than usual.

Feel For Your Pup's Ribs

  • If your dog is of normal weight, you should be able to feel their ribs. Your dog's chest should be larger than the abdomen, and there should be a definite tuck-up from the chest to the stomach near the dog's waist (see illustration below).

Check Out Your Pooch's Figure

  • When viewed from the side, dogs who are obese typically have no discernible waistline and no difference between the chest and the stomach. To understand how your dog should appear from the side, refer to the overweight dog chart below.

Overweight dog chart, Memphis Emergency vets

How can I help my dog lose weight?

Weight gain can be a sign of a serious underlying illness, so if you suspect your dog is overweight, take him to the vet right away. If your vet determines that your dog is overweight and that there are no underlying illnesses causing the weight gain, they will recommend a diet and exercise plan to help your dog's weight return to normal in a safe manner.

Here are some weight-loss tips from your veterinarian.

Regular Exercise

  • Maintain a consistent exercise routine for your dog, which includes twice-daily walks and outdoor playtime. Playing fetch or frisbee can help you and your dog bond while also giving your pup a fun way to burn off some extra calories.

Diet & Feeding

  • Your veterinarian will be able to calculate the precise number of calories to feed your dog at each meal and will prescribe a low-calorie diet food to aid in weight loss. Make sure your dog eats at the same time every day and that you carefully measure out the portions based on their breed (or size).

Yearly (or Twice-Yearly) Checkups

  • Routine wellness exams (physical examinations for your dog) are essential, even if you are confident that nothing is wrong. Annual or biannual wellness exams allow you to monitor your pet's weight and identify early disease symptoms. This allows your veterinarian to treat problems before they worsen.

If your dog begins a weight loss program, schedule follow-up appointments with your veterinarian so that your pet's progress can be tracked and dietary changes can be made as needed.

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. 

If you feel like your dog is overweight, contact our Statesboro vets right away! They can recommend some solutions to get your dog's diet back on track.

New Patients Welcome

Statesboro Bulloch Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Statesboro companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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