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How do I know if my dog is overweight?

If your dog is overweight or obese, they could be at risk of weight related illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes. Here’s how you can determine if your dog is overweight and what you can do to keep obesity at bay.

Weighing your dog

Solely looking at a dog’s weight is not a true indication of whether or not your dog is overweight because your dog’s weight may vary to other dogs due to their size, height, breed, age or sex. You should look at your dog’s body condition score (BCS) as well as their weight for a more accurate assessment, as outlined in the tips below.

Check your dog’s ribs

If you press gently on your dog’s ribs, you should be able to feel their ribs under a thin layer of fat. If you have to press firmly in order to feel their ribs, then this could mean your dog is overweight.

Check your dog’s waist

View the shape of your dog from above. From this angle, your dog should have a visible waist. If your dog’s waist goes out rather than in, then your dog is obese. Also, when viewing your dog from the side, their waist should tuck in underneath.

Next steps

If you suspect that your dog is overweight, take them to the vet for confirmation. Your vet might advise a change in diet or lifestyle. Your dog might not be getting enough exercise, so you may need to take them out for longer walks or factor in other forms of exercise into their daily routine.

To make sure your dog is getting enough exercise, you could give them an Animo to wear on their collar. Animo is an activity and behaviour monitor that records how much exercise your dog is getting and allows you to set exercise goals, ensuring your dog always stays on track.

Giving your dog too many food treats and dinner scraps could also be causing weight problems. To tackle this, try rewarding your dog with praise or a toy instead of treats and keep them away from your leftovers.

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