How to Know If your Dog Is Too Fat?
Having a pet who is happy, is always the goal for any dog owner, however some feel that feeding a pet paves the way to their happiness.
This is not the case and can lead to all sorts of issues from health problems to obesity.
Having a dog who is obese can be just as dangerous as having a dog who is anorexic, so remember that next time you give your beloved pooch that extra treat or two. If you think your pup has piled on the pounds, then there are a few simple ways to see if your dog is chunky or seriously overweight.
Observing your dog’s body shape is essential when determining if they are overweight. If you look at your dog from the side, his tummy should angle upwards towards his groin in a straight line, meaning that the lowest part of their body should be their rib cage, this may not be the case for all dog breeds but it should be for most.
If your dog’s tummy sags below the rib cage and does not angle upwards towards their groin, then you dog may be considered ‘overweight’. From a Birdseye view, your dog should be wider at the hips, with a dip where its waist should be. They should also have a slight hourglass figure.
The Rib Test
You can tell a lot about whether or not your dog is overweight by the ‘Rib Test’. Place your fingers just behind the shoulder blade and work your way down the sides of your dog. If you are able to find the ribs by using gentle pressure, then this is perfectly healthy.
A small layer of fat lying just under the skin is healthy however, if you have to press hard to find the ribs, then this is a sign that your dog is overweight or even obese. In addition to the rib test, if you can see rolls of fat larger than half an inch, then your pooch might be overweight. Other body parts you should test are the spine and hip bones, you should be able to feel these with ease.
If your pet is even slightly overweight, this can lower their energy levels and can lead to other health issues. Similarly to humans, if they are slightly overweight, this can lead to a feeling of lethargy and sluggishness. If your dog is reluctant to go for walks and exercise, then their excess baggage could be what is holding them back.
Having excess weight can be discouraging for a dog and this will only turn into a vicious circle, with them avoiding exercise and therefore getting bigger. Carrying too much weight can put excess strain on their heart, lungs and digestive system, leading to more dangerous illnesses, making them vulnerable to diseases and infections. As well as causing systemic problems, being overweight can lead to arthritis and other joint problems.
Speak To Your Veterinarian
If you are worried that your pup might be overweight, then speak to your Vet. If the Vet can see that your pet is overweight, then they will be able to discuss with you, safe weight loss strategies that can include a calorie controlled diet, how often your pet should be fed as well as an essential exercise regime.
Other ways to see if you can make a difference before going to the vet is by seeing if changing the way you feed your pet could help. If you tend to leave food out for your dog all day, the chances that you’re over feeding your pooch is quite high. Check what kind of food you are feeding your dog and how much the regular portion size is.
It is essential to feed your dog according to the vet’s recommendation to ensure that your dog remains at a normal weight.