Overweight dog

How to Know if Your Dog is Overweight

Did you know that obesity in pets is defined as just 15% over their ideal body weight. That is just a seven pound gain in a 50 pound dog. Just like people, overweight cats and dogs are at greater risk of health problems, including hypertension, cardiac fatigue, pancreatitis, diabetes and colitis. Excessive weight gain can also aggravate arthritis, hip dysplasia and other joint problems.

What causes obesity in pets?

The cause of obesity is excessive calorie intake and lack of adequate exercise. What’s the answer? Feed your dogs a controlled diet of high quality dog food. Don’t overfeed treats and avoid feeding human dinner scraps to your pets. Get out and exercise. Enjoy the out of doors and make it a part of your daily routine with your dog.

What should a dog look like when it’s at a healthy weight?

I like this infographic by Natural Balance because it shows how your dog should have a nice hourglass shape. You want to be able to see a defined waist, a little bit of rib (if your dog has shorthair). If your dog’s hip bones are very pronounced, then your dog may possibly be too thin. When in doubt, ask your trusted veterinarian.

Healthy dog weight infographic by Natural Balance

Healthy Weight Dog Food I Recommend

If your dog does need to lose a few pounds, in most cases you just need to cut back on it’s food by a half cup a day, cut back on or eliminate treats, and increase it’s exercise. If your dog is more severely overweight or an older dogs, you may want to consider a weight loss dog formula.

One that I like is Wellness Healthy Weight dog food. I actually prefer this over the Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Dog Food because it is all chicken, instead of a combination of proteins in the Natural Balance Fat Dog formula. It’s always better to stick with one type of protein for the entire life of your dog so as to prevent allergies and to make it easier to substitute a new food if your dog does develop allergies.

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