Canine Obesity and Your Dog's Health

When a dog is overweight, we (as humans) generally see them as being 'adorable.' Unfortunately, 'adorable' doesn't keep them healthy and they are equally as adorable when they are fit at the correct weight for their body style.

Overweight dogs are at higher risk for conditions like cancer and diabetes. That's what we are going to focus on today.

We (as humans) often don’t think about how being overweight is damaging her health. If we think about it for a moment though; how does being overweight make us feel? How does exercise and a healthy diet make us feel? Right! We feel much better when we are doing right by our body.

Our dogs count on us to ensure they are well cared for.

Note: Researchers have discovered a potential link between obesity and dogs with cancer. Click the link to learn more!

 

How Can You Tell if Your Dog is Obese?

If you’re not sure what your dog’s body should look like, you should talk to your veterinarian. Don't be embarrassed; there are some dogs who appear leaner than others when they are healthy. It's better to ask than to be uncertain.

body condition score chart, like the one here, can help you with determining if your dog is at the correct weight or not.

Essentially, this chart explains the following:

  • Underweight: Able to see your dog’s ribs, vertebrae, pelvic bones and/or other bones from a distance. You don’t see much muscle or fat.
  • Perfect or Close to Perfect: You can feel the ribs, but there is some fat covering the ribs. You’re able to see your dog’s waist when you hover over him. His abdomen is tucked up when you look at her from the side.
  • Overweight: There are different stages of obesity, but if your dog is significantly overweight, there will be too much fat covering the ribs to feel them. Your dog may even have 'tail fat!' 

How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

There's no 'one size fits all' answer to this question, unfortunately. That's why it's important to talk to your veterinarian about portion size.

The amount you feed will be based on several factors including (but not limited to):

  • Breed
  • Age
  • Activity level

Prevent Canine Obesity and Keep Your Dog Healthy 

We will continue discussing canine obesity in tomorrow's blog post. Be sure to come back to our blog page to read more. Canine obesity is a major issue in the United States. It's important we educate others on the dangers of canine obesity while keeping our dogs happy and healthy!