Try and deal with weight gain early in life
Chubby puppies are so cute, aren’t they? However, what happens if your chubby puppy progresses into a chubby adult dog.
As in adults, a dog that is overweight may face health challenges, such as types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis and joint problems. There are many ways in which you can help your dog live a happy and healthy life.
The easiest way to determine whether your dog is overweight is to weigh them. Most vets will allow you to weigh your dog when visiting. The vet can advise whether your dog is overweight for the breed type and size and whether the dog is the appropriate shape for the breed.
Vets use a body condition scoring method to establish if your dog is indeed overweight. A dog would generally be overweight at 15 to 20% over the ideal weight and obese at more than 30% over.
Other ways to identify if your dog has a weight problem include signs of lethargy, a reluctance to go out for a walk or play, lagging behind on a walk, a sagging tummy, panting if you can’t see or feel the ribs, spine or waist.
There are factors which contribute to obesity which, are not always food-related. These include age, sex, inactivity, reproductive status, inactivity, environment, underlying conditions. Indeed, some breeds are more prone to obesity so that genetics may play a part too, and un-neutered dogs often weight less than a neutered dog of the same breed.
Establishing if your dog is obese/overweight is the first step and always consult your vet. Increasing exercise may not be helpful in isolation, although it is always a great start, ask your vet as well in case of any underlying health issues. Vets often run healthy weight clinics too, Slimming World for dogs.
If your dog is overweight, and after consulting your vet, you may want to consider the following:
You may also find once your dog is spayed or castrated it gains weight, we recommend you reduce your normal feeding by 10% 2 weeks after the procedure.
We hope you find this useful, always consult your vet if you have any concerns.