Did you know that 1 in 3 pets in the UK are overweight or obese?* Many of us don’t realize that our dog is overweight, because the weight gain is easy to overlook as it often takes place gradually over time. Even though it’s happening right in front of you, a few ounces here and there might not be immediately noticeable. However, they can really add up to some serious health issues.
Why being overweight matters:
Even if you’ve noticed your dog is carrying a few extra pounds, you may not be aware how much it can affect his health. Being as little as 20% overweight can greatly increase the risk of your dog developing serious health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, urinary stones or heart disease.
Plus, excess weight can not only have a negative impact on your dog’s general wellbeing, happiness and overall quality of life, it can also significantly shorten his life expectancy compared to a healthy-weight pet.
Is my dog overweight?
Your dog may look just fine to you, but ideal weight varies by size and breed. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what your dog’s ideal weight is. Between check-ups, you can still assess if your dog is maintaining a healthy weight. Place your hand on his side, and if his ribs are hard to feel or even impossible to feel, he’s likely overweight.
Here are some other signs of obesity you may notice:
- Loss of an obvious waist
- Collar needs loosening
- Difficulty in walking
- Slow movement
- Shortness of breath
- Bad temper
- Sleeping more than usual