Overweight Dog Help

Guidance on nutrition to support and maintain your pet's overall health and well-being.

Overweight dogs make up about half of the dog population in North America. Being overweight or obese places the animals’ bodies into a constant state of inflammation and can put them at higher risk for developing diseases like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory illness, and kidney failure. The good news is, it is reversible. With increased activity and being fed the number of calories needed for their weight and size, dogs can lose weight and live a healthy life. Our staff provide complimentary nutritional assessments upon request and with every exam.

When is a dog considered to be overweight?

For most breeds when you are looking at them from above, their body should have almost an hourglass shape or visible waist. If an hourglass shape or waist is not present or if you can see their belly from above, they may need to start on a weight loss feeding plan. You could also try running your fingers over their rib cage (great for breeds with thicker fur where looking for the visible waist may not work), a good rule of thumb is you should be able to feel between their ribs with minimal effort. If you need to apply pressure to feel their ribs they are likely overweight.

Are some breeds prone to obesity?

All breeds can become overweight or obese. However, some breeds can be genetically susceptible to obesity, as well as at higher risk of secondary complications if they become obese. Chihuahua, Pug, Dachshund, Shih Zhu, Shetland Sheepdogs, and some Retrievers may need a stricter calorie intake. Small dogs may not be getting enough physical activity. With larger dogs, it can be due to them being more motivated by food or eating table scraps in addition to their regular food.

Why should my dog have a weight loss consultation at the hospital?

We will individualize your dog’s calorie intake, food & treat amounts and thereby take all of the guesswork out of it for you. Weight loss is crucial to improving an obese pet’s quality and quantity of life.

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