Is your furry friend looking a bit more pudgy than usual? Just like humans, our family pets too can struggle with extra weight and obesity. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over half of all dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.
Being a healthy weight is important for dogs, just like it is for people. Carrying too much weight can put stress on bones and joints and can lead to conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. If you’re not sure whether your dog is at a healthy weight, there are a few things you can look for.
As your local doggy daycare and boarding facility, we’ve seen firsthand the effects that extra weight can have on pups. If you’re interested in learning more about how to tell if your dog is overweight, how the extra weight can affect them, and how you can help them, keep reading.
Signs Your Dog May Be Overweight
So how can you tell if your dog is carrying around a few too many pounds? Here are some signs to look for:
Examine Your Dog’s Behavior
One of the best ways to tell if your dog is overweight is to examine his or her behavior. If your dog seems to be panting more than usual or is having trouble keeping up with you on walks, these could be signs that he or she is carrying too much weight. Another telltale sign of an overweight dog is a lack of energy. If your dog used to be lively and playful but now seems sluggish and uninterested in exercise, it may be time to talk to your veterinarian. By paying attention to your dog’s behavior, you can help ensure that he or she stays healthy and fit.
Feel Your Dog’s Ribs
If you’re concerned that your dog might be carrying around a few extra pounds, there’s a simple test you can do at home to check. First, find a spot on your dog’s side where you can easily feel the ribs. Once you’ve located the ribs, apply gentle pressure with your fingers. If you can feel the individual ribs without having to press too hard, then your dog is probably a healthy weight. However, if it’s difficult to feel the ribs or if they seem to be buried under a layer of fat, then your dog is likely overweight.
Examine Your Dog’s Body Shape
One way to see if your dog is at a healthy weight is to examine their body shape. When looking down at your dog from above or from the side, you should be able to see a waist. There should also be an indentation behind the ribs. If you can’t see these things, it’s likely your dog is carrying around extra weight.
Weigh Your Dog
Finally, the obvious way to tell if your dog is overweight is to weigh them. Ideally, you should weigh your dog once a month. You can do this yourself at home, or you can ask your vet to do it for you. To weigh your dog yourself, simply step on a scale with your dog and then subtract your weight from the total. Keep in mind that different breeds of dogs have different ideal weights, so be sure to consult your vet or a breed-specific weight chart. If you think your dog may be overweight, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for advice on how to help them return to a healthy weight.
Health Effects That Can Develop If Your Dog Is Overweight
While a little extra weight might not seem like a big deal, it can actually have serious consequences for your dog’s health. Just like humans, dogs who are carrying around extra weight are at risk of developing a number of serious health conditions. These include:
- Skin irritations/infections.
- Joint problems.
- Heart problems.
- Higher risks of certain cancers.
- Breathing issues.
- Decreased mobility.
- And more.
The good news is that by losing the extra weight, your dog can avoid or even reverse many of these issues. A weight loss plan for your dog should be tailored to their individual needs but may involve changes to their diet and exercise routine. With a little effort, you can help your furry friend enjoy a longer, healthier life.
Your Local Doggy Day and Boarding Care Facility
Safe Journey Dog Boarding is Portland, Oregon’s premier place for dog overnight cage-free boarding and doggy daycare. At Safe Journey, your fur babies will always be free to roam, play, and socialize 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. With us as your daycare providers, you don’t have to worry about the quality of care your pet is receiving after drop-off. Our dog boarding/dog daycare facility provides a safe, comfortable, relaxed, home-style environment for your dog. This minimizes your and your dog’s stress and anxiety while you are away. Our high-frequency dog visitor clientele helps ensure that your dog is able to hang out with a well-mannered dog pack. Many of your dog’s playmates at Safe Journey have spent hundreds and even thousands of days here with us. Check out our website for our daycare packages.
What we offer:
- A cage-free environment
- A fun environment for your pet
- A comfortable environment for your pet
- An outdoor space for your dog to play
- Indoor facilities
- Off-leash, open-play environment
- Overnight boarding services