If Your Dog Is Overweight, What Should You Do?
Just like their humans, dogs can become overweight…again, just like humans, the weight creeps up before you even recognize that it’s happening. Before you know it, your dog is fat!
Statistically, about 40% of the dogs in the U.S. would be considered overweight or obese (don’t you hate that word?). Another statistic that’s even a little bit sadder is that 40% of the owners of the 40% overweight dogs think their pup is overweight. What makes that a sad statistic is, if they don’t recognize their dog is overweight, they won’t work with their dog to help him/her shed a few pounds.
Are there signs that my dog is overweight?
Aside from comments from passersby, “Oh, he’s a big boy” or “Looks like she’s never missed a meal“, there are ways you can check for too many pounds.
- Does your dog easily get out of breath, tire quickly or has limited stamina?
- Your dog is simply not getting enough exercise, especially for the amount of food he is taking in. This can actually lead to heart failure.
- Is your dog frequently constipated or have digestive problems?
- If your dog is eating more than she should, and not exercising as much as she should and not eliminating as well as she should, serious conditions of the liver, pancreas and diabetes can develop.
- Does your dog appear to have difficulty sitting or lying down, and then getting up again?
- This could indicate that there is too much demand on your dog’s joints due to the extra weight he is carrying. Too many pounds can also contribute to arthritis.
- If you run your hands along your dog’s sides, can you feel her ribs?
- You should be able to not only feel her ribs, but also feel the spaces between them.
- Do your dog’s legs look too tiny for his body, which appears blocky and square?
- The chart below will help give you an idea of how a dog’s body should typically look.
- If you’re still not sure, check with your veterinarian.
How can I help my dog lose weight?
Part of your challenge is not only changing your habits with your dog, but also helping him change the routines he is used to.
- Control your dog’s calorie intake.
- Be sure you are feeding your dog healthy, nutritious food.
- Be sure the treats you offer him are also healthy and nutritious.
- Have set times for your dog to eat, it may be difficult to break “at will” eating habits.
- Help your dog move more!
- Give your dog plenty of opportunities for exercise – it’s good for you too!
- It’s not always about exercise, play more with our dog, play catch and fetch or take him swimming!
- Have patience…to lose weight safely, it should be done slowly. Every little bit of progress is great!
Our training techniques are based around one simple question:
What do you want and expect from your dog?