Stats say 56% of dogs are overweight or obese and it’s not hard to see that when you are out and about. Pets in America today are facing some of the same issues in the weight department! Snacks are up, exercise is down and pizza sadly continues to be delicious. We get that you love your dog and think that they are PERFECT, fyi they are, but it’s still important to keep an eye out on your dog’s weight! So here are 5 signs that your awesome pooch MIGHT be overweight.
1: Their Body Shape
Your dog’s body shape is one of the most important signs when it comes to their weight. As obvious as that sounds it is something a lot of pet owners can easily overlook. Dogs at an ideal weight aren’t carrying extra fat around their midsection, nor are they so skinny that a lot of bones are visible. To get a good idea of your dog’s weight SlimPaws recommends doing a full Body Condition Score assessment on your dog. Doing a BCS assessment on your dog is a lot easier than it sounds, there are three basic steps to it.
1 Do a Rib Check:
Get your dog comfortable and run your hands across their ribcage, one hand on either side, it doubles as a really nice pet so your dog won’t mind! Take note of how their ribs feel, how easy it was to feel them etc. and compare to our handy BCS Chart!
2 Profile Check:
Take a step back and look at a profile view of your dog. How far down does that midsection fat hang? How defined is their chest?
3 Overhead Check:
Look down at your dog and see what their outline looks like, overweight dogs can look like sausages from above
After those three steps you should have a better idea of your dogs score from 1-9. If your dog falls somewhere between 6 and 9 then it’s probably time to ask your vet about their weight and also look at Slim Paws Weight Loss Chews as part of your canine fitness journey!
Once you HAVE your dogs BCS head over HERE on slim paws website to find their calorie needs with our calculator!
2: They have issues getting around!
Your dog is your wingman, best friend, and co-pilot! Where you go they go, but have you noticed a hitch in their getup lately? It can happen to the best of us as we age and when we have weight issues and your dog is no exception. The University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School found that 80% of dogs are at risk for developing conditions like Hip Dysplasia and they site being overweight or obese as a contributing factor to that number.
These hip and joint issues in your dog can cause them pain when moving and even hinder their overall mobility. Combine potential weight issues with age and you have a recipe for rover staying stagnant as much as possible, which means less exercise, which means MORE weight gain.
As a pet owner, you have eyes on your pet more often than anyone else, when you see issues with their mobility it’s important to evaluate their health, speak with a vet and take action about their health.
3: Abnormal breathing
Every dog has a unique breathing pattern, not every dog breathes like a pug or a Frenchie. During play time or exercise if you see your dog struggling to breathe or panting more than normal, take note. These signs can mean that your dog’s respiratory system is struggling under that extra weight. Play and exercise can take a toll on an unhealthy dog. When you notice your dog breathing harder than normal, take note and consult your vet as soon as possible.
Snoring in dogs can run the gamut from cute to well, annoying at times, and believe it or not, their weight can be a factor in weight loss! When your dog is overweight, they can have an excess of tissue and fat around their nose and throat. That tissue can make breathing at night difficult for your dog and can cause snoring. If your dog isn’t usually a snorer and starts suddenly, it could be a weight issue.
5: General Lethargy
At the end of the day your dog being overweight means they will have less energy to do everything. Less energy to walk, play fetch, chew on toys and even less energy for snuggles and wet kisses. This is the sad reality of the situation and a key factor to watch out for. Your dog’s day to day routine can change suddenly if they start to feel the negative effects of obesity. Pay attention to how your dog goes about their day, how they go about activities may shock you.
Your dog can be overweight and show all these sings or none of them. At the end of the day the most important thing is that you monitor your dogs BCS score, talk to your vet often, and take steps to manage their weight. It’s easy to think of our dog’s as healthier than they are because they can’t directly tell us what is wrong. Vigilance, planning and care are key to getting your dog to a healthy weight and keeping them there can add 2.5 years to their life! If you think your dog is obese and you’d like to get them started on Slim Paws you can click here to get them started on their fitness journey!