Is My Pet Fat? How to Tell if Your Dog is Overweight

Updated: August 28, 2017 at 6:15 pm, Author: Alice

As a caring pet owner, you are likely concerned about everything your dog eats to how much water they consume, and from what toys they can play with to whether or not they get enough exercise. Somewhere in between all that worrying, you wonder if your pet is overweight.

 

Lately, it seems that your pooch has been gaining a pooch. While, like with humans, it is perfectly normal for your dog to gain a little bit of weight as he ages, there is a fine line between “normal” and “overweight.” You do not want your dog to cross that line.

 

A dog that is overweight experiences extensive health issues, including joint damage, diabetes, heat intolerance, and decreased liver function, to name just a few. In order to ensure continued health and a long and full life for your pup, keep an eye out for signs of obesity, and know how to combat it if your dog does put on a little bit of weight.

 

Signs of Obesity in Dogs

pug sitting on his back - fatIf you want your dog to be healthy and active for the entirety of his life, they must be the perfect weight for their size, age, and breed. But how can you tell what is and is not the perfect weight? Use these signs to find out:

 

Your Dog Has No Definition

For starters, hourglass figures aren’t just for women. Dogs and cats both should have a natural taper to their waist. If you pup does not have definition—meaning they lack a chest, a stomach, and a waist—it’s time for a diet. Yes, this even applies to Dachshunds.

 

You Cannot Feel His Ribs

You should always be able to feel your dog’s ribs, but not see them. If you can see his ribs, he is too skinny and needs heartier meals or even a change in dog food. If you can’t see his ribs, and nor can you feel them, he needs to go on a diet. You can tell for certain by pressing your fingers to where his ribs should be. You should easily be able to feel them through a layer of muscle, but if you have to work through layers of pudge to get to them, he is overweight.

 

He Has Trouble Breathing

One of the most obvious signs of overweightness—in humans and in animals—is the inability to breathe. If your dog pants heavily after making his way from the couch to his food bowl, or if you notice that he breathes heavily while eating, he is overweight. Even if he breathes heavily after a short walk, it may be time to cut back on the carbs.

 

He Has Trouble Moving

Dogs are naturally active creatures, so if you notice that Fido lazes around a lot lately, and that when he does get up to do something, he does so with great effort, he probably suffers from too much weight on his body.

 

He Cannot Groom Himself

Again, it is natural for dogs and cats to be able to groom themselves, and they are built to do just that. However, if you notice that he struggles to get that leg up, or cannot reach around to his backside with ease, it’s time to hit the gym.

 

He Suffers from Constipation

Dogs, like humans, have a regular digestive schedule that does not vary much from day to day. Whether your dog typically defecates twice a day or four times a day, if his schedule reduces in any way, investigate the other signs. Even if he does not suffer from obesity, constipation could be a sign of another pressing health concern, and you should bring him into the vet right away.

 

Help Your Pet Burn Those Excess Pounds

If you catch on to your dogs excess pounds early on, helping him burn that fat will not be a difficult endeavor. Simply cut their food intake by 25 percent and increase their daily activity levels bit by bit. Within no time, he should be back to his lean, clean self in no time.

 

However, if your dog is obese, it might be a bit more difficult to help him shed those pounds, but not impossible. Do the same as with a thinner overweight dog—cut his food intake by 25 percent and increase his exercise levels. However, you may struggle a bit trying to get your dog to walk more, or even with cutting back his diet. He may try to fight you, and will likely mope around your begging for more food. Do not cave. This is for your pup’s own good, and he will be happier in the long run once he’s back to his normal weight.

 

If you notice that your dog is losing weight nicely, you can up his food intake a bit, but only if you continue with the same strict exercise regime. Otherwise, you will end up right back where you started—with an overweight pooch.

 

Give Your Dog a Healthy Treat

Your dog has worked hard to lose all that weight, and you want to reward him with a treat. But then you think, wouldn’t doing so be counterproductive? With most treats, it would be, but not with Bully Sticks. At The Bully Stick Shoppe, we make our bully sticks from nothing but the most natural ingredients. Made from 100 percent bull muscle, and with no additives, preservatives, or sugars whatsoever, they pose no threat to your dog’s health or weight. They’re the perfect treat for a dog that has worked hard and wants to continue reaping the rewards.

 

Though bully sticks are healthy treats, dogs love them! When chewed on, they sooth their gums. If your pup is past the teething stage, they provide hours of entertainment nonetheless. Best of all, bully sticks are also great for your pup’s oral hygiene, and they are odor free. There’s a reason bully sticks are a favorite amongst pet owners.

 

If you want to reward your dog for all of his hard work, or if you simply want to treat him, check out our US Made products to see which stick is right for your pup.

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