Skip to Main Content

Ways To Tell If Your Dog Is Overweight & What To Do

Obesity in dogs is on the rise and having a negative impact on the overall health of our canine companions. In today's post, our Cordova vets share some signs that your dog may be overweight, and what you can do to help get your pup's weight back to a healthier level.

Why should I worry if my dog is overweight?

If you think that your dog may be overweight, the very first thing you should do is to make an appointment with your vet. Carrying extra weight can be a sign of an underlying health issue, and can also be a contributing factor to many health issues in dogs including joint pain and diabetes.

Your vet will weigh your dog, do a thorough examination to determine their overall health, then let you know if your pet is overweight based on their build and breed standards.

Is my dog overweight?

If you aren't sure whether a trip to the vet is necessary there are some ways to tell if your pooch is overweight.

Feel Your Dog's Ribs

Provided that your dog isn't carrying extra weight you should be able to feel your pup's ribs without a thick layer of fat obscuring them. Your pet's ribs should feel somewhat like the back of your hand.

Look for the Tuck-Up

Looking from directly above your dog you should notice that your pup's chest is notably than their abdomen, and from the side you should be able to see a tuck-up from their chest to stomach.

Look For Your Pup's Waist

A dog that is overweight will generally have no real waistline and no distinction between their chest and stomach when viewed from the side or from above.

Monitor Your Dog's Energy & Endurance

Reduced levels of energy and fitness are common in overweight dogs. This means that you may notice your pup panting when walking, or walking slower than they should need to based on their age and size. You may even notice that your pooch spends a lot of time sleeping.

Check Out The Overweight Dog Chart

Below is an illustration showing dogs of different weight categories. Look over this overweight dog chart to get a visual understanding of what a dog should look like if they are a healthy weight, and what they might look like if they are overweight.

Overweight Dog Chart, Cordova Vet

What should I do if my dog is overweight?

Unexplained weight gain can be a sign of serious illness, so if you think that your dog is overweight a trip to the vet is an important first step.

If your veterinarian determines that your canine companion is overweight and there are no underlying illnesses causing the weight gain, your vet will prescribe a diet and exercise plan to help get your pup's weight back on track.

Here are some things your vet may suggest to help your pup lose weight.

Regular Exercise

Follow a strict exercise schedule for your pup, including two walks every day and some daily outdoor playtime. Playing fetch or frisbee can help you and your pooch form a closer bond as well as provide your pet with a fun way to burn some extra calories.

Modified Diet & Feeding

Your veterinarian can calculate the correct number of calories to feed your dog at each meal, and prescribe a low-calorie diet food for your pet if they feel it is necessary. Many vets recommend that dogs eat at the same time every day when following a weight loss plan, and pet parents should measure out the portions carefully based on their vet's recommendation or the amount stated on the food packaging for their dog's breed and ideal weight.

Regular Check-ups

Annual or twice-yearly wellness exams and regular preventive care give your vet the opportunity to examine your pooch for early signs of illness (before conditions become serious) and monitor your pet's weight and overall health.

If your pup is following a weight loss plan, visit your vet for follow-up appointments so that your dog's progress can be monitored and dietary adjustments can be made if they are needed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Do you think that your dog might be carrying a few extra pounds? Contact our Cordova vets at Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital today to book an examination for your pup.

How to help your overweight dog. Cordova Vet

Looking for a vet in Cordova and greater Memphis area?

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

The Benefits of Pet Wellness Plans & Other Considerations

Pet Wellness Plans are 'bundled' veterinary services that include the annual preventive services your pet needs, at a discounted rate, then divided into 12 easy-to-manage monthly payments. Today, our Cordova vets discuss the benefits of Wellness Plans and some things to consider.

A Pet Parent's Guide to Leaving Your Dog Alone

Sooner or later we all need to leave our dogs alone while we head out to run errands, earn a living or spend time with friends. But how long can you safely leave your dog alone? Our Cordova vets explain.

Medical Boarding for Pets - What You Need to Know

At Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital we understand how stressful it can be to find a great place to leave your pet while you're away. This is especially true if your dog or cat is unwell, recovering from an accident or surgery, or is elderly and requires extra care, but that's where medical boarding comes in.

Heatstroke Symptoms in dogs & What To Do

While hot sunny days can be a real treat for many of us, warmer days mean an increase in the risk of heatstroke for our pets. Heatstroke can be a fatal condition so it's important for pet parents to know the signs of heatstroke in dogs, and what to do if your dog has heatstroke. Our Cordova vets explain...

PhoneContact