Is your dog overweight?

Overweight dogs face an increased risk for a range of health problems. Not only that, those extra pounds can worsen existing ailments. Here, our Memphis vet explains how you can tell if your dog is overweight, and what you can do about it.


Assessing Your Dog's Weight

When you spend a lot of time with your pet, sometimes it's hard to tell if they're carrying more weight than they should. Luckily there are a few easy ways to tell if your dog might be overweight. 

Signs That Your Dog May Be Overweight

You Can't Feel Your Dog's Ribs

If your dog is the correct weight you should not be able to see their ribs but you should be able to easily feel them by running your hand along your pet's chest.

If you can't feel your dogs ribs due to a layer of fat, your dog may be overweight.

Your Dog's Body Lacks Definition

Look at your dog from the side. Your dog's abdomen should be slimmer than their chest, this is called an abdominal tuck. If your dog's abdomen is the same size or bigger than their chest, there's a good chance that your dog is overweight.

No Waist

Now it's time to look at your dog from above. While your dog is standing, look down at their physique. You should be able to easily spot where your dog's waist is. No waistline could be a sign that your dog is carrying a few extra pounds.

Lack of Enthusiasm for Physical Activities

If your dog used to be full of energy, but now prefers to sleep or lie around the house, your dogs weight might be slowing them down.

Lack of Stamina

Extra weight can be heavy for dogs to lug around. A dog that starts out on a walk full of energy but then tires quickly, might be carrying extra weight. 

Refusing to Climb the Stairs

Once upon a time your dog would follow you everywhere, including up and down the stairs. Now your furry friend just can't be bothered? It's time to get your dogs weight checked.

Health Risks Faced by Overweight Dogs

As with people, there are a number of serious health risks associated with obesity in dogs. Here's just a few:

  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • joint disorders
  • respiratory conditions
  • high blood pressure
  • immune dysfunction
  • cancerous tumors
  • reduced lifespan

How to Get Your Dog's Weight Back On-track

Before making any changes to your dog's diet or exercise plan, it's important to see your vet to establish what your dog's ideal weight is.

While you're there, your vet will check your dog for signs of any conditions that could be causing your dog to carry extra weight, such as diabetes, cushing's disease and hypothyroidism.

Following a thorough examination, your vet can calculate the number of calories your dog should be eating each day, and suggest possible changes to your pet's diet. While there are a number of foods available for canine weight loss, your pet may not need one. Your vet may simply advise you to reduce the amount of food you are giving your dog. 

Chances are that your veterinarian will also suggest ways to safely increase your pet's activity level. Going for a brisk walk once or twice a day with your dog is a great way to help your pet get the exercise they need, and you'll feel great too. Getting your dog moving is key to slimming them down and improving your dog's overall health.

How To Monitor Your Dog's Weight Loss

Drop by your vet's office or use your home scale to weigh your dog every week or two. Typically, if you follow your vet's guidelines you can expect your pet to lose about 1% - 2% of their body weight each week. 

Ongoing Weight Management

Once your dog reaches their ideal weight it's essential keep weighing your pet to make sure the weight doesn't slip back on. Your vet will help you to calculate the ideal number of calories that your dog should consume each day in order to maintain a healthy weight.

If you think your dog may be overweight, contact our Memphis vets to book an appointment today.

Is your dog overweight | Memphis Vet

Looking for a vet in Memphis?

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Related Articles View All

About Tick Borne Diseases in Dogs

Ticks-born diseases are a real health concern for dogs right across North America. Symptoms can be painful and zap the energy right out of your pet. Here, our Memphis vets share some symptoms of common tick-borne diseases seen in dogs, and why early detection is essential.

Hypothyroidism in Cats

Hypothyroidism is a rare condition in cats but when it does occur it can produce a number of symptoms including weight gain. In today's post our Memphis vets share some of signs of hypothyroidism in cats and how it is treated.

Signs of Hyperthyroidism in Dogs & How It Is Treated

Hyperthyroidism is a rare condition in dogs but when it does occur, it can lead to a number of very serious health concerns for our canine companions. Today our Memphis vets explain the most common signs of hyperthyroidism in dogs, and how this condition is treated.

Lyme Disease in Dogs - Symptoms & How Lyme Is Treated

Lyme disease is a common tick-transmitted disease seen in people and pets across the US. While many dogs carry Lyme without showing symptoms, other dogs can suffer from a range of debilitating side effects due to this disease. Our Memphis vets share some of the causes, symptoms, and treatment for Lyme disease in dogs.

Client Comments About Our Quality of Care

  • The whole office staff is so compassionate and supportive. I've been taking my kitties here for 40+ years. They're the best!
    - Judy W.

901-382-1950