Just like us, it’s not hard for our doggos to pile on a bit of extra weight if you’re not careful.
A staggering 35 percent of dogs in the UK are overweight – and even more worrying is the fact that pet owners aren’t realising until their dog is suffering from a related illness.
So, now you might be thinking, “Is my dog overweight?” Obesity in dogs is more apparent than you might think. And the consequences can be seriously detrimental to their health. Nobody wants to see their pet suffer, especially if they can do something about it.
So, this post will advise you what a healthy dog weighs, the different telltale signs that your pooch is overweight and some helpful tips on how you can help your dog lose weight.
- What Does a Healthy Dog Weigh?
- The Telltale Signs That a Dog Is Overweight
- How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
As dogs come in all different sizes, shapes and breeds, it’s hard to determine an average healthy weight on average for them. The dog’s sex can also affect thier weight as well as they’ve been neuted or not.
The problem with trying to determine an average weight range for dogs is that people usually advise a large range. For example, a website may conclude that a female labrador should be 28kg and say that a healthy weight should range from 28kg to 37 kg. That’s a large weight range, and a labrador that’s 80kg would certainly be too heavy.
Plus, weight ranges for mixed breed dogs are almost impossible to predict. Some breeds are stockier and bigger than others and also, like humans, all dogs are different so it becomes a grey area when trying to calculate. A more accurate way of working out what a healthy weight for your dog is to use the Body Conditioning Score (BCS). To find out more about this, click here.
There’s no such thing as an average dog, so how can there be a collective average or normal weight for them? Quite simply, there can’t be. Each dog is different and their ideal weight will be based on a few factors.
Even though people may not realise their pup is slightly on the chubby side, it isn’t too difficult to tell. Firstly, if you’re curious and really don’t know, make an appointment with your vet to get your dog checked over. They’ll weigh them and carry out a general consultancy of them to see if everything is in perfect order or not.
If you don’t think you need to go to the vets, there are a few tests you can do yourself to see whether your dog is carrying a little bit of extra timber.
Can You Feel Their Ribs?
The rib test has stood the test of time when it comes to seeing whether your little pal is overweight or not. So, take your hands and run them around their flanks and abdomen. If your dog is of an ideal weight, you should be able to feel their ribs but not be able to see them. If their ribs are showing then they are too skinny.
If you can’t find their ribs, it’s a sign that your dog could be a little overweight. Extra minutes exercise each day should sort this out no problem, or a reduction in portion size too.
Do They Have an Abdominal Tuck?
We’re not saying that your dog should have a Baywatch-Esque beach body, but when you look at them you should be able to notice an abdominal tuck – if they’re a healthy weight, of course. Your dog’s shape should be wider at the chest and gradually thinner at the abdomen. If this is the other way round, or they’re a rounder shape, then your dog is likely to be overweight.
How’s That “Hourglass” Figure Coming Along?
Have a look at your dog from above, you should be able to immediately spot their waist and an overall hourglass figure shape. If you can’t see it and you notice that your dog is a square shape, then your dog is overweight and could benefit from losing some weight.
Can They Be Bothered to Play?
What’s happened to the puppy who wouldn’t give you a moments peace from wanting to play and go for a walk? Well, if they have lessened interest in either of those, then the chances are they’re overweight or their heading that way.
Overweight dogs have to use more energy than healthy dogs when exercising, so if they’ve swapped playing fetch for curling up in front of the fire all too often, it could be because they’ve put on too much weight. Carrying too much weight is exhausting and increased laziness is one of the biggest telltale signs.
It’s not always playing either. Does your dog still follow you around the house and more importantly, up the stairs? Stairways and any kind of ascension can be hard work for an overweight dog due to the momentum they need to get going. If they’re giving up on trips to the bedroom, it could mean they’re too heavy.
The trick here is not to get complacent – don’t just carry your dog upstairs because they won’t budge, they will get used to that treatment. They need to learn to go up by themselves.
Helping your dog lose weight isn’t too dissimilar from the routines that we put ourselves through when we want to shift a few extra pounds. The best ways are:
Increase Their Daily Exercise Routine
Physical exercise isn’t just great for a dog’s physical health, but mentally too. To get them to burn off more calories, why not take them out for an extra walk each week? Or, it doesn’t even have to be that severe, maybe just add 20 minutes extra onto their walks per day? Not only will they lose more weight, but you get to spend more time with your little friend – winner!
Or, if your dog just stays at home most days, then a good way to get them up and moving is doggy daycare. Not only will they be able to run and play until their hearts content but tey’ll also meet plenty of new faces too – social interaction is great for a dog’s mental health.
Cut Out the Table Scraps and Excessive Treats
We know, it can be hard to resist those puppy dogs when they’re sat staring at you. But for the benefit of your dog’s health, you should cut out sharing scraps of food with them at mealtimes. Table scraps and treats are often high in calories, so make sure all the family knows not to give the dog their leftovers if you want to see results.
Police Their Diet
Is your pup getting all the right supplements in their diet that they need? For example, both fibre and protein are often overlooked – but both can add great benefits to their diets. The first thing you should look at when looking to help your pooch lose weight is their diet. It’s the factor that you can control the much, whether it be a food change or portion reduction control.
At Reet Good Dog Food, we’re committed to ensuring that your pup is provided with the very best dog food there is. All of our meals are at least 50 percent meat-based and contain the natural ingredients for all the vitamins they need. They’re steam-cooked too, which means all the goodness doesn’t escape during cooking.
Keep Control of Your Dog’s Weight and Ultimately Their Health
As people, if our health is threatened in any way, we do everything we can to reduce the risk, right? Well, why would you run the risk of your little pal carrying some extra weight? No matter how cute they are with the extra belly rolls, dog obesity is a huge problem that pet owners can easily put a stop to.
Whether it’s a little bit more exercise or just watching what they eat more carefully can work wonders for their weight and overall health. You want your dog to be around for as long as possible, don’t you? Well, prioritise their health and they’ll be there to make memories and brighten any day for a lot longer.