One of the most important questions regarding your dog’s health is, “How much should my dog weigh?” If your dog isn’t at a healthy weight, they’ll be at risk for certain health problems. A dog can gain weight by eating poorly and not exercising – just like a human.
But it can be difficult to tell if you have an overweight dog. If you do, dealing with the issue as soon as possible will help make sure your beloved companion avoids some potentially dangerous issues.
Your Dog’s Health And Ideal Weight: How Much Should My Dog Weigh?
Although you should have your pet weighed regularly at the vet, there are other ways to tell whether or not they are overweight. One of the first steps in determining the right weight for your dog is to take a close look at your pet’s body. Here are a few tips to help you tell if your dog is at a healthy weight.
Check the ribs
Can you feel your dog’s ribs when feeling along the sides? If you can, your pet is probably at a good weight. If, however, you can’t feel them without having to press firmly, then your pup is more than likely overweight.Fhealth
But if you feel ribs without any effort, or you can see them, then the dog may need to gain weight.
Check the legs and hips
An obese dog will usually have pads of fat between the legs. These pads will move prominently while the dog is walking. When you pet your dog, pay attention to the area around the hips. Obese dogs typically have pads of fat in this region.
Observe the shape of your pet
Stand above your dog and look down. Does it look like your dog has an oval rather than tapered appearance? If that’s the case, your dog may need to lose weight. If you can see your pet’s waist, then they are probably at a normal weight.
Check the profile of your dog
Look at your dog from the side. If your dog’s waist sags, that’s another possible sign of a weight problem. A dog’s stomach should sit higher than the chest.1
The American Kennel Club has a weight chart that provides an estimate of how much specific breeds should weigh. Here’s a sample of what is considered a healthy weight range for some popular breeds:
- Boston Terrier – 12-25 pounds
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – 13-18 pounds
- Great Dane – 140-175 pounds (males) – 110-140 pounds (females)
- Pomeranian – 3-7 pounds
- Yorkshire Terrier – 7 pounds2
Factors That Can Affect Your Dog’s Weight
Age, bone structure, activity level, and the type of food your pet eats are just a few of the factors that can affect their weight. A large breed puppy or small breed puppy can become overweight just as easily as an older dog.
Chubby puppies (or kittens for that matter) may seem cute. But if a pup is obese, that can significantly shorten their lifespan and lead to serious health issues.
Puppies grow at different rates, so it can be hard to tell if yours is at risk for obesity.
The best thing to do is to visit the vet regularly and about your pup’s weight.
While there are some medications that can make a puppy or adult dog put on too much weight, the main cause of obesity in dogs is, unfortunately, humans. A lot of us tend to spoil our pets by giving them table scraps and other human food. Eating too many treats can cause a dog to pack on the pounds quickly.
Obesity In Dogs: Health Risks
There are a lot of health problems that a dog can develop due to obesity. It doesn’t matter if a dog is from a large breed, a small breed, or anything in between. Pet obesity can endanger a dog’s health in ways you might not have previously imagined. Here are just a few of them.
Joint and bone issues – When a dog takes in more calories per day than they burn off, that can lead to added stress on joints and bones. This can cause the joints to wear down, robbing the dog of their mobility. One of the most important reasons to practice obesity prevention is your dog’s quality of life.
Breathing trouble – If a human gains too much weight, that can lead to breathing issues. The same goes for dogs, especially larger dogs. Carrying around excess weight can make it hard for your pet to breathe.
Other issues – Obese dogs tend to experience other types of health problems as well. These include thyroid issues, urinary tract infections, heart problems, and even reproductive issues.3
Pet Obesity: What Should You Do If Your Dog Or Puppy Is Overweight Or Obese?
As a puppy grows, getting your pet on a healthy diet consisting of natural ingredients will be vital to his or her health. Some pet owners, for example, put their dogs on a raw food diet to meet their weight goal. Green beans and other vegetables may help promote better health. Regular exercise can help reduce fat and increase muscle mass, making your dog much healthier.4,5
If you have any doubts about how to get your dog back in top condition, talk to your vet. They will help you put together the safest, most effective diet to help your pup lose weight. If you purchased your dog from a breeder, they may be able to give you some tips that pertain to your pet’s specific breed.
No matter what you do, you need to take action if your dog is showing signs of being overweight. The faster you take that action, the better your chances your beloved dog will be by your side for many years to come. Watch what your dog eats closely to keep your companion as healthy as possible.
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