Being overweight is as unhealthy for dogs as it is for people. Unfortunately, dogs being overweight is a common problem. If the problem isn’t addressed, it can lead to dog obesity. This in turn can lead to serious issues like diabetes and heart failure, just like it can in humans.
How to tell if your dog is overweight
If your pooch doesn’t have an observable waist between its rib cage and back legs when you look at it from above, that’s a sign that it’s overweight.
Its abdomen should also be tucked up when you look from side-on. You should also be able to feel its ribs when you gently rub its fur. If you can’t, your buddy has excess fat.
If you’re in any doubt about whether your dog is overweight or not, check with your vet.
What to do if your dog is overweight
Diet and exercise are both important in helping to reduce weight in dogs, just as they are for people. If you focus on both of those areas, you should start seeing results before long.
Talk to your vet about what you should feed your pooch and an appropriate exercise routine before you start its weight-loss program.
Your vet will most likely recommend food that is low in terms of fat and calories, buy high in protein and fibre. It’s important for dogs to still get all their essential nutrition while they are losing weight.
It’s also important to restrict how many times you feed your buddy each day. Two or three times a day is ideal, without any grazing between those times. Keep treats to a minimum as well. Your vet will be able to advise you on the correct meal portion sizes, based on your dog’s age, weight and breed.
Your vet will also inevitably encourage you to start slowly with a weight-loss exercise program for your dog. Gradually build up the length and intensity of your sessions. You might even be able to incorporate your buddy into your own exercise routineso that you can lose weight and get fitter at the same time as your pooch!
Make sure you keep track of your buddy’s progress by recording what you do in each exercise session and regularly checking their weight. An added bonus of exercising your dog is that it improves their mental health, not just their physical health.
How we can help
At DOOG, we have plenty of products that you can use to ensure your pooch stays fit and healthy, including:
- leads and harnesses so that you can both go for walks or runs together,
- walkie bags, belts and pouches, so that you can take everything you need with you when you exercise (like water bottles and pick-up bags),
- a pop-up pool to help your buddy cool down after you exercise, and
- swim towels (if swimming is a part of your exercise routine in the hot summer months).