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Is your dog overweight?

Obesity rates in dogs are increasing. This has a negative impact on their overall health and wellbeing.  In this article the Pflugerville vets discuss the signs that could indicate your dog is overweight, and how you can assist in getting their weight down to a healthy level.

Should I Worry if My Dog is Overweight?

If you suspect your dog is overweight, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. When a dog gains weight, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem or contribute to other health issues such as diabetes or joint pain.

In order to determine if your dog is over weight your vet will perform a comprehensive examination and weigh them on a scale. After the exam your vet will inform you if your pup is overweight, taking their breed and physical build into consideration.

Is my dog overweight?

If you don't know if you should take your dog to the vet there is a variety of ways you can tell if they are overweight at home.

Feel Your Dog's Ribs

If your dog is overweight, you will be unable to feel their ribs because the fat will be obstructing them. Normally, you should be able to feel your puppy's ribs, which should be similar to the back of your hand.

Look For Their Waist

An overweight dog will usually not have a visible waistline with no distinction between their stomach and chest when looking at them from above or the side.

Monitor Your Dog's Endurance & Energy

Overweight dogs often have lower fitness and energy levels. You may notice them panting or walking slower than usual for their breed, size, and age. Additionally, they may sleep more than usual.

Check Out The Overweight Dog Chart

Following is a visual displaying the different weight categories for dogs.  This chart should give you a visual understanding of how dogs look when they are below, normal and over weight. 

Overweight Dog Chart, Cordova Vet

Why is My Dog Overweight?

There could be many explanations for why your dog is over weight, here is a list of the most common reasons why your canine companion could be experiencing this condition:

  • Taking in more calories then they can burn through physical exercise
  • Decrease in their ability to exercise due to the effects of aging such as arthritis or other conditions
  • Eating too many treats, table scraps or other high calorie foods
  • Neutering
  • Hypothyroidism

What should I do if my dog is overweight?

When your dog gains weight unexpectedly it could be an indicator of a serious illness. If you believe your dog is overweight it is important that you take them to the vet.

Your vet will create a plan to get your dog back on track, including a prescribed diet and exercise routine, if they determine that there is no underlying illness causing your dog's weight gain.

Here is a list things your veterinarian might recommend to help your furry friend lose weight.

Regular Exercise

Daily outdoor playtime and two daily walks are part of a strict exercise regimen for dogs. With your dog, you can even strengthen your relationship while having fun and losing weight by playing games like frisbee and fetch.

Modified Feeding & Diet

Your vet is able to calculate the right amount of calories to feed your dog at every meal. If they feel it is necessary they might also prescribe a low-calorie diet food for your pet.

In order to maintain a weight-loss plan, many veterinarians advise having your dog eat at the same times every day. Additionally, depending on your dog's breed and ideal weight, they might ask you to measure out the portions you give them carefully.

Regular Check-ups

Going for routine checkups once or twice a year provides your vet with the chance to examine your dog's weight, over all health and look for any early signs of illnesses before they can become serious. 

If your pooch is on a weight loss plan, book follow-up appointments with your vet so they can monitor your dog's progress and make any needed dietary adjustments.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Do you believe your dog is carrying some extra weight? Contact our Pflugerville vets at Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital now to schedule an exam for your pup.

New Patients Welcome

Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Pflugerville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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