Is Your Dog Overweight?
Obesity in dogs is a more common problem than pet owners realise, so much so that one in three Australian dogs are overweight.
And while it's hard to deny that chubby dogs can be cute, it's impossible to deny that chubby dogs are facing serious health risks.
How to tell if your dog is overweight:
Every dog is different and you should always talk to us about their weight before taking any extreme weight loss measures.
That being said, take a look at your dog and consider the following:
- Can you see their ribs, spine, or waistline?
- Are they panting even when it's cool and they haven't been exercising?
- Are they tired more than normal?
- Do they need help getting into the car or onto the couch?
- Is it hard to get them in the mood for running around or playing games?
- Is their face looking rounder or more chubby?
- Is their collar getting too tight?
Ticking a few boxes? It might be time to book your pet in for a checkup and weigh in.
Does it matter if your dog is overweight?
Yes, it does. Apart from their quality of life not being as amazing as it could be, they will also be at risk of serious health implications such as:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory problems
- Liver disease
What to do if your pet might be overweight:
Before taking away your pet's favourite treats and taking them to the gym, it is important for a vet to initially assess whether a medical condition may be responsible.
Management of obesity not due to a medical condition involves weight loss of no more than 2% body weight per week through diet modification and increased exercise.
Our team can help tailor a weight loss program to improve the health and well-being of your pet. This involves providing adequate calories and exercise to suit the breed and life stage of your pet. Our program:
- Determines ideal body weight
- Provides dietary advice
- Offers support and guidance on activity plans (specific to the age, gender, and breed of your dog)
- Offers regular weigh ins and check ups at our clinic
Some dietary tips:
- Maintain a feeding schedule ie once or twice daily. Feed your pet only at mealtimes
- Feed an appropriate diet in the correct portions, measure or weigh your pet's food
- Consider a veterinary recommended diet for weight loss
- Decrease treats. Treats should only represent 10% of your pet's daily food intake
- Reward your pet with affection rather than treats
- Consider healthy treats such as steamed carrot, broccoli
- Do not feed table scraps and leftovers, apart from overfeeding many of our favourite foods are poisonous to dogs
- Do not allow for begging behaviour
We're here to help keep your pet happy and healthy. Call us on (03) 9596 4804 to book an appointment or for advice to get you started.