Identifying Obesity in Dogs

Identifying Obesity in Dogs

Did you know that much like humans, dogs also have problems maintaining their weight at times? In fact, obesity in dogs really isn’t rare at all. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, roughly 55.8% of dogs are in the category of being overweight or obese. 


At the moment, everyone seems to think that having a pudgy dog is funny and cute. However, obesity in dogs really isn’t a laughing matter when they are at a far higher risk than normal dogs for certain diseases because of their obesity. Pet owners are often confused by the diverse nutritional advice they are getting which is why we are seeing obesity in dogs more than ever before. 


This then leads to a struggle in helping their pups achieve their ideal weight. However, that isn’t the only reason that dogs become overweight. Here are five of the most common causes of obesity in dogs and some treatments of obesity in dogs. 



While this one may seem obvious, it is one of the most common dog obesity causes. Sure, we all know how much of a struggle it is to tell our dogs no when they look at us with their soulful eyes. However, saying no every now and then could help your dog greatly.


Obesity in dogs is heavily fueled by overfeeding. This is because pet parents dish out far more than their canine companion actually needs. But, just like us humans, a nutritious and balanced diet is exactly what our pets need to enjoy a long and healthy life. 


As pet parents, we need to ensure that our dogs lead a good life. To avoid overfeeding, control the portion size that you are giving your dog. Then, when creating the ideal diet for them, you should consider their size, activity level, and any medical conditions. 


Even giving your dog excessive treats can be classified as overfeeding. If you do want to treat your pet, consider offering them chews that are transparent about calories and nutrition instead. This is one of the best treatments for obesity in dogs


Lack of Exercise

If your dog isn’t getting enough daily physical activity, they are likely to become overweight. This then puts them at a far higher risk of heart diseases. You will want to make sure your pet is not just gaining weight because of their lack of physical activity. 


You should check that they don’t have any underlying conditions such as hypothyroidism that is causing weight gain. Try to make exercise as fun as possible for your dog to ensure that they look forward to it. Take advantage of their love of water or swimming by taking them to the river. 


If they like to run, take them outdoors for a hike with you. The best way to ensure that you have success with your dog’s exercise is to consult your veterinarian for a weight loss plan that is tailored to your dog. Obesity in dogs should always be dealt with as soon as possible. 


One of the biggest dog obesity causes is a lack of exercise. Your dog will also likely become bored with a lack of exercise. 


Lifestyle Changes

If you have been spending more time at work recently, you need to make sure you still make time for your dog. Perhaps you just moved into a new house and are too busy to walk your dog every day. When someone close to the dog passes away, a baby is born, or work hours chance, your dog can be affected by this.


Sometimes, dogs will go into a sort of depression and spend more time laying down. This results in reduced activity and weight gain. As hard as it is sometimes, try not to let your lifestyle changes affect your dog’s health. 



While obesity in dogs certainly isn’t a problem among all breeds, it is prevalent in some more than others. First of all, if you own a Labrador, you should know that they are at the very top of the list. In fact, they are often listed as one of the fattest dog breeds. 


It is very rare to see a lab that is picky about its food. When it comes to obese breeds, Basset Hounds and Beagles are also on the list. While they are highly active, they often gain weight easier because of their insatiable appetites. Bulldogs and Pugs also feature quite high up on this list for two reasons.


Both of these breeds are very stocky and short in frame. This makes it hard for their owners to actually identify when their dogs are overweight. Both bulldogs and pugs are very low-energy dogs who would rather snooze on the couch than run around all day. 


Sometimes people think that dog obesity causes don’t correspond to breed. However, that is very much wrong. 



As our beloved dog’s age, their caloric needs shift down. Their activity and energy levels will also decrease. However, not many pet owners are actually aware of how much their food intake needs will change as well. 


Of course, they will have the same appetite. However, as their metabolism begins to slow down faster, they won’t be burning calories like they used to. If your pup is starting to climb the age chart, it is likely a good time to change their food from regular food to food that is designed for senior dogs.


You will also have to seek out a softer texture for their food, chews that are digestible, joint supplements, and antioxidants. Older dogs will also require far more protein in their diet when they begin to lose muscle mass. When you’re looking for treatment of obesity in dogs, make sure you consider their age before deciding on your course of treatment. 


The Bottom Line

If you are dealing with obesity in dogs, reducing their food intake is not the only solution to getting their weight under control. It is best to speak to your veterinarian to make changes that will help your dog. Knowing the main dog obesity causes and the treatment of obesity in dogs is the best way to get your dog the care they need.