How to tell if your dog is overweight

How to tell if your dog is overweight

By Dr. Brent Bilhartz

A big percentage of the American population is overweight, but did you know that includes dogs? Leading causes of weight gain in dogs are, in most cases, similar to the main cause of obesity in people: too many high calorie foods without enough exercise.

There’s a quick way to tell if your pooch has, well, a pooch. Have your pet stand still and look at them from above. There should be a curved indentation in the waist area just behind the rib cage. Look at your dog from the side. There should be a narrowing of the waistline behind the rib cage, not a solid sausage like profile.  If there is no topline or sideline hourglass shape, or worse, if the rear bulges outside the ribs and you cannot find your dog’s ribs easily, it’s probably time for Fido to start a weight loss plan which will entail an “Eat Less and Exercise” approach.

Pregnancy can cause weight gain but gestating females should not be permitted to put on extra weight and for the most part should keep a normal, healthy physique. (Excess weight during pregnancy can put both mother and pups at risk during labor.) Some illnesses can cause weight gain.

If you have questions about your pet’s weight gain or your pet’s failure to lose weight with dietary changes and increased exercise, visit us at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals to meet with one of our Frisco vets. At LazyPaw, we offer premier veterinary services from top animal clinicians to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. We are more than glad to look at your pet and help you choose the best course of action.

Carrying extra pounds can cause serious long-term health trouble, so it’s important to get your pet’s weight under control. Consulting a veterinarian before jumping into an aggressive weight loss regimen is the healthiest and safest thing for your pet. Your veterinarian will be able to assist you in selecting the best feeding and exercise programs tailored not only to your dog’s age, size, and breed but also your personal family’s lifestyle.  Success can be short-lived if healthy strategies cannot be devised which are easy for clients to implement and to follow long term.

Many pets, just like people, suffer weight gain from time to time for a myriad of reasons. If your pet is overweight, her doctor for the best diet and exercise plan to get Fifi back on track.

Brent Bilhartz

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