Obesity is an epidemic in the pet population. Unfortunately, because it is so common, most people assume that overweight dogs are in good body condition and that is how dogs should look. Not only do the added pounds put extra stress on the dog’s joints and back, it also predisposes the dog to develop serious illnesses, such as Diabetes, respiratory illness, liver and heart disease.
When is a dog considered to be overweight?
Veterinarians use a grading system to assess the body condition of dogs. The grading system ranges from 1 to 5, with 3 being the ideal score. A dog who receives a score of less than 3 is considered underweight and a score greater than 3 is considered to be overweight. A dog with a good body condition score should have a well-defined waist when observing the dog from above and a tuck in the abdominal area when looking from the side. You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs with ease without having to push in when running your hands along the dog’s side. The hips and backbones easy to feel without actually seeing them stick out.
Are some breeds prone to obesity?
Some breeds are more active than other breeds (i.e. Springer Spaniels vs. Bulldogs) but any dog can become overweight if the amount calories they eat in a day is too much for the amount of energy they expend. Some breeds would prefer to snooze all day, but it is up to the owners to ensure that their dogs exercise regularly and avoid overfeeding the dog.
Why should you have weight loss & management consultation at the clinic?
All dog owners should discuss how to maintain a healthy weight in their pets. We can show you how to assess your dog’s body condition and offer tips to prevent obesity. If your dog is overweight, our clinic staff can help you formulate a plan to ensure that your dog loses weight safely and in a timely manner.