Chubby dogs may be extremely adorable, but excess weight is unhealthy and can reduce your dog’s lifespan. Not only will your dog be at risk for joint pain, he or she could also suffer from some other medical issues such as diabetes.
Surprisingly, some dog breeds are prone to obesity and others are naturally slimmer. Commonly obese dog breeds include Cairn Terriers, Dachshunds, Scottish Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds, Labs, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
The first step to helping your dog stay in a healthy weight range is to provide the opportunity for exercise. If your dog spends hours cooped up in your home, he or she probably doesn’t get nearly enough exercise. It can be beneficial for both you and your dog to go on walks, visits to the dog park, or play a nice, long game of fetch or tug of war.
While lack of exercise is one major reason that dogs tend to become overweight, another reason could be the food or the portions of food that you are giving your dog. First, you should always be aware of how many treats you are giving your dog. Too many treats or people food is a fast route to excess weight for dogs. Try to limit your dog to just a couple treats a day or give them a treat that they will really have to work for to burn extra calories.
Not all dog foods are created equally, and some of these foods contain too much protein, carbohydrates, and fat for your dog. Your veterinarian can help you muddle your way through dog food brands and formulas to find a food that has the nutritional requirements that your dog needs without excess caloric intake.
Certain dogs may need to be on a specific, specialized diet. If your dog has medical conditions or is allergic to ingredients commonly found in dog food, you may need to do a lot of research to find a food that works for your pet. Diet dog food is also a great option for dogs that are already overweight.
When it comes to food, you need to be sure that you are sticking to the amount of food recommended by your vet. It may not come as a surprise to you, but the recommended amounts on the back of dog food bags are often inaccurate and too much for your dog. Instead, speak with your veterinarian about an appropriate portion for your dog.
If you are unsure about your pet’s weight, feel around its ribs or spine. You should be able to feel both the rib and spine bones, as well as a thin layer of fat between the skin and the bones. If you can’t find your dog’s ribcage or it is difficult, your dog is probably overweight. You can also always ask your veterinarian.
It is important to speak with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s food or exercise habits, so be sure to consult your vet before making any drastic changes in your dog’s lifestyle.
Drypet knows how difficult it can be to figure out the perfect formula for healthy body weight for your dog. Consulting with a veterinarian is your best bet in keeping your dog at a healthy weight.