Obesity: A huge problem for your dog and their health
Consider this: According to a U.S. study conducted in 2018, over 55% of dogs are overweight or obese. How do you tell if your dog’s one of them?
If they weigh 10% to 20% more than their ideal weight, they’re considered overweight. Beyond 20%, they’re tipping the scales into obesity. That means that if your dog’s ideal weight is 55 pounds, they’re overweight at between 60.5 and 66 pounds and obese at more than 66 pounds.
Carrying extra weight is a heavy burden for your dog in other ways. It can put added stress on their heart, lungs, and joints or even aggravate pre-existing conditions. Read our post (in French), 5 bonnes raisons de garder son animal à son poids santé, to learn five good reasons to keep your pet at a healthy weight.
To keep your faithful friend healthy and happy, you have to keep an eye on their weight. But how? Weighing them at home isn’t accurate enough because their morphology, breed, and other factors can impact their target weight. Instead, watch for certain small but telling signs like when:
- You can’t feel their ribs when you run your hand along their side
- Their belly is distended when viewed from the side
- You can’t see your dog’s waist when viewed from above
If you notice any of these signs, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you determine if your dog is overweight, establish an ideal target weight, and develop a strategy for reaching it. For more details, check out the body condition score chart created by WSAVA.