You might have come across this problem during your time spent with your dog, and yes, it is a common problem among our canine friends. Even though we might not like to admit it, more than half of our domestic pets are overweight due to lack of exercise and poor eating habits!
To keep a healthy restraint on your dog and on his diet, it is best to regularly check to see if your pet is really overweight or not. If your pet is found to be good for its size, keep up the good work and go at it! If he/she is not in the right condition that they need to be, then whipped them up into shape (not literally)!
Visible Signs of Obesity
In our section down below, we will be covering 5 visible signs of obesity that you can spot right off. Even though the cause might have been going on for several months, you still need to spot it in the first place before taking immediate action.
1. Hour-Glass Shape
By looking down at your dog from above, you will be able to see the basic outline of your dog’s shape. You can also see the same shape by straddling your dog and looking down, but I think you get a general idea.
After seeing the outline, a healthy dog should be looking like an hour-glass shape with the sides coming in at the middle, but an overweight dog should be looking more straight on the sides and even bloated for extreme cases.
If you look from the top and your dog has an hour-glass outline in his body, you still have to check if he is underweight. Even though he might have a healthy body shape, he might still be underfed, so make sure that you get him into his ideal condition!
2. Feeling of Ribs
Any dog owner should be able to assess the body conditions of his pet by feeling the ribs. If your dog is at his ideal weight, you should be able to feel his ribs by putting your hands by his side, which is the normal case for most dogs.
For dogs that are underweight, you can easily see the ribs before feeling them, so make sure to feed your dog if you can see the rib lines too easily. For overweight dogs, you cannot feel the ribs at their sides due to the mass of fat that is blocking your way.
This same concept of weight-measuring also applies to their furry counterparts, the cats. If you have any problems with these meowing devils, do the same evaluation by looking at them from above and also by feeling their ribs.
3. Level of Activity
Similar to cases with humans, overweight dogs tend to move less and thus, exercise even less. If your dog tends to stay indoors a lot more and stays in one spot all the time, you might have to suspect something fishy.
If your dog is slowly but surely gaining weight, the level of activity would have gone down, and your pet would start exercising less. Due to the lack of exercise, you don’t have a way for your dog to lose weight since he is still eating more and more!
Even though the exercise level has gone down, his eating rate might have gone up! This means that he will get his gains even faster, which can endanger his health and even his life in the process.
4. Weight Checking
If you want to be absolutely sure that your dog is overweight, you might need to put your dog on a scale and check his weight. Formulated by the American Kennel Club, the Breed Weight Chart is here with realistic measurements for each breed.
Click on the link above to see if your dog’s weight meets the average weight requirement of that specific breed. If that number is over the average, you have your answer right there, so check the numbers!
5. Natural Causes
Sometimes, you can’t account for all the factors since there might be natural solutions to that obesity. Some natural causes that you need to consider are age, type of breed, and bodily disorder.
As your dog starts from a young age, you have to account for his increased metabolism and growth rate. As your dog gets older, his metabolism will start to slow down, and his level of activity will start going down.
For different types of breed, the average weight will differ, and you have to account for these factors as you go along. Sometimes, your dog might have a hormonal disorder that naturally makes your dog overweight.
General Solutions to Obesity
After talking about the general causes, our next section is full of solutions that might help us solve this problem. If you have found out that your dog is overweight, make sure to read through each carefully and in order!
1. Going to the Vet
Checking your dog regularly should be a good foundational rule to follow since vet appointments will rule out any out-of-the-norm causes of obesity. You will be able to rule out the abnormal causes and focus on the remedies that you can try at home.
In addition, your vet is the expert when it comes to pet health, so they will able to figure out the causes that you might not have spotted right off. Last but not least, you might receive some pointers and recommendations that can head your dog in the right direction!
2. Checking the Rate
Checking the eating rate of your dog is probably the next important solution up on our list. If your dog is overweight or on its way there, you need to make sure that your pet’s dog bowl isn’t overflowing with food day and night.
Hand out the necessary portion for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and make sure to ration the feed out in normal intervals. In addition, give additional helpings for a growing dog, and smaller helpings for dogs that are growing old.
This is probably the most important factor of all, which is regular exercise. You need to take your dog out for a walk or for a run, and you need to set a time and be consistent at it. Don’t take him out at random intervals since you might overwork your dog during such sessions.
Take her out at regular intervals and make sure to exercise her enough for her specific type of breed. Each breed of dog has a set standard of exercise time that needs to be performed daily, so take note of that before you go any further.
Getting close to the end here, and our fourth solution is researching the right ingredients. When you look over the ingredients that are included in your dog feed, research each and every ingredient that is unfamiliar to you.
Look at the health benefits that each ingredient brings and see if the right dose of that particular ingredient is included in the feed. Make sure to check the food labels for any substances that might be harmful to your pet.
This should be your last resort when trying to fix an overweight dog, so rest assured! In extreme cases, medicating your dog can become your option if nothing else works. Even though it is your last option, it can come in handy if your dog has a certain medical condition that needs to be fixed.
Conclusion: Consistency Is Key!
Make sure that your feeding routine and dieting are consistent even with your dog. Don’t just suddenly change up the schedule based on your whim since your dog’s health might depend on your individual actions.
As always, thank you for reading through our post called Is My Dog Overweight (Causes & Solutions), and feel free to bookmark our homepage for further updates. Have a great rest of your day, and don’t forget to smile!