Worried Your Dog is Overweight?
Obesity in dogs is a very common issue and one that has been on the rise in recent years. It’s caused in the same way that it is in humans, by consuming more energy than you’re burning. The good news is that it’s very treatable and there are lots of things you can do to get your dog back to their happier, healthier self.
How to spot if your dog is overweight?
- You should be able to feel all your dogs ribs, you don’t need to be able to see them as this is a sign your dog could be under weight, but you should be able to easily feel them
- They don’t want to move or play
- Abdominal sagging - the angle from your dog’s abdomen to their pelvis should be between 30 and 35 degrees.
- Constant panting
- Wheezing while they are breathing
- Reluctance to go for walks
- Lagging behind on walks
- Needing help getting into the car or up onto higher surfaces i.e. the sofa
There are a number of health problems that can occur if your dog is overweight. These can include joint disease, arthritis, heart problems, respiratory disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease or cancers. This will ultimately cause them to have a shorter lifespan but also a lower quality of live.
How can you support your dog to lose weight?
- Increase their exercise - take them on more walks and for longer if possible, even if they are reluctant to go
- Review their food intake and create a plan. Don’t let them eat from their bowl all day long. Measure out how much you’re giving them and then repeat this so they are in a consistent calorie deficit.
- Avoid unnecessary treats - we all know it’s hard to not give them that last bit of food from your plate, or those big eyes looking up at you on the sofa. However, these extra treats could be causing your dog to gain weight so it’s better in the long term to restrict leftovers or scraps.
- If they won’t stop begging for treats, then consider a healthy treat like carrots or green beans or try distracting them with a ball or fun toy instead. We have a range of boredom buster toys which you can view here.
- Feeding times - divide your dogs food into a few meals throughout the day and try not to give them their last meal too late. They won’t burn as many calories while sleeping!
How many calories should my dog eat?
This will vary by dog and by bred, so if you are unsure then it’s important to contact your veterinarian who will be able to guide you. On average, dogs need around 30 calories per pound of body weight to maintain their current weight. So depending on the size and breed of your dog you will need to adjust this to be in a healthy calorie deficit. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you on what that deficit should be.
Using a Supplement to Support Dog Health
If your dog's reluctance to go for walks is associated with joint discomfort or they've stiff due to being overweight, you'll want to consider a high quality joint supplement. Canine Gold is a liquid turmeric based product, which is 100% natural, and will strengthen the joints and support sore, stiff joints naturally. The high levels of naturally occurring anti-inflammatories in turmeric work to maintain supple, comfortable joints. Overweight dogs may suffer from joint discomfort so this is the perfect solution to help ease that, help them move more easily and enjoy their walks more. Canine Gold also aids digestion by incorporating aloe vera, which has a range of benefits for every day health. Aloe Vera has also been proven to aid post exercise recovery, so is the perfect supplement to support your dog as you increase their daily exercise regime.
If you are unsure on what to feed your dog or if they are overweight then always consult with your local veterinary practice for advice.