Dogs are becoming more obese, which is dangerous for their health. If your dog appears excessively affectionate, they may be overweight. Our Vancouver veterinarians will show you how to determine if your dog is overweight and what actions to take.

Is my dog overweight?

To determine if your dog is overweight, visiting the vet is essential. Your vet will weigh your dog and conduct a thorough examination to assess their overall health and determine if they are overweight based on their breed and physique.

Being overweight can cause severe and painful health issues in dogs, so it's crucial to help your dog maintain a healthy weight at all times.

If you're unsure whether to visit the vet, watch out for signs indicating your dog may be carrying extra weight. 

Consider Your Dog's Fitness Level

  • Overweight dogs often pant even when walking relatively slowly and may walk slower or need to take more naps than before.

Feel For Your Pup's Ribs

  • A dog with a healthy weight should have visible ribs without excess fat, and their chest should be broader than their abdomen. There should be a noticeable tuck-up from their chest to their stomach around their waistline, as shown in the illustration below.

Checkout Your Pooch's Figure

  • Overweight dogs will generally have no visible waistline and no distinction between the chest and stomach when viewed side-on. See the illustration below to better understand how your dog should look from the side.

Overweight dog chart, Memphis Emergency vets

How can I help my dog lose weight?

If you suspect your dog is overweight, it could be a sign of a severe underlying illness, and you should visit the vet. If your vet confirms that your dog is overweight without any underlying illness, they will suggest a safe diet and exercise regimen to help them lose weight.

Here are some of the things your vet may suggest to assist your dog in shedding those extra pounds.

Regular Exercise

  • Keep to a regular exercise schedule for your dog, including going for walks twice a day and playtime outside once a day. Playing fetch or frisbee can help you, and your dog forms a closer bond and provide your pup with a fun way to burn a few extra calories.

Diet & Feeding

  • Your vet can calculate just the right number of calories to feed your dog at each meal and prescribe a low-calorie diet to help your pup reach a healthier weight. Be sure your dog eats at the same time every day, and that you measure out the portions carefully based on the ideal weight for their breed (or size).

Yearly (or Twice-Yearly) Checkups

  • Regular wellness exams are necessary, even if your dog appears healthy. These checkups allow your vet to monitor your dog's weight and identify early signs of illness before they worsen. It's essential to have annual or biannual wellness exams.

After starting a weight loss plan, it's vital to visit your vet for follow-up appointments to track your dog's progress and make any necessary dietary adjustments.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.