Is your dog overweight? Don’t take it lightly


Many of us don’t realise that our dog is overweight, because the weight gain is easy to overlook as it often takes place gradually over time. 

Why being overweight matters

Even if you’ve noticed your dog is carrying a little extra weight, you may not be aware how much it can affect his health. Being as little as 20% overweight can greatly increase the risk of your dog developing serious health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, arthritis, urinary stones or heart disease.

Plus, excess weight can not only have a negative impact on your dog’s general wellbeing, happiness and overall quality of life, it can also significantly shorten his life expectancy compared to a healthy-weight pet.


Is my dog overweight?



All dogs have an ideal weight for their size and breed. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what this is, and show you how to check that your dog is maintaining a healthy weight. Between check-ups, place your hands on his side - are his ribs hard to feel or even impossible to feel? If so, he is likely overweight.

Here are some other signs of obesity you may notice:

  • Loss of an obvious waist
  • Collar needs loosening
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Slow movement
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bad temper
  • Sleeping more than usual


What causes weight gain in dogs?


Weight gain is the result of an increase in body fat. This is usually caused by eating too much, especially when combined with lack of exercise. But there can be other contributing factors, too.



Older dogs are less active, have less energy, and require fewer calories, which is why nutrition formulated for his age is vital to his weight and overall health.


Some dog breeds are more likely to gain weight.


Clinical studies have shown that the basic metabolism of neutered dogs is lower, and they require fewer calories.


Very occasionally weight gain is associated with a medical disorder that may require specific treatment.


Dogs with unlimited access to food understandably eat more than they need — this includes table scraps from family members.


Many commercial foods are loaded with salt and fat. This improves taste, which means your dog will want to gorge.


Exercising with your dog


As well as feeding your dog the correct nutrition, promoting regular exercise will help the process of healthy weight loss. Here are a few workout tips for exercises you and your dog can do together.


Power dog walks with intervals


Take your dog for a walk on a leash. Throughout the walk, mix in some intervals of jogging, running or high stepping to help increase your heart rate and burn calories for both you and your dog.

Dog squat tease


Stand with your legs spread shoulder width in preparation to do a leg squat. As you descend, tap your dog with his favorite toy. As you rise, lift the toy above your head to encourage your dog to jump after it. This can be done in your home and outside as well.

Dog tag


Just like you did with your friends as a kid, play tag with your dog at your local dog park, in your backyard or even inside your house. You’ll both get a great cardio workout as your dog tries to chase you down.

Choosing the right dog food for weight loss


The food your dog eats directly affects his overall health and well-being. Balanced nutrition is an essential part of an active, healthy lifestyle. Eating too much dog food, snacks or people food can increase weight gain.

Proper nutrition plays a very important role in treating an overweight dog. Ask your vet about Hill’s line of weight management foods to help your dog lose weight and maintain a healthy & active life.


Caring for Your Dog


Pet Care Centre


Put your overweight dog on the road to recovery.


If your dog is already having trouble with weight problems, there are plenty of
things you can do to improve his condition.


See Wellness Options