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Ask Dr. Aziza: Signs You May Need To Help Your Dog Lose Weight

04 Oct 2022 | Written by Freshpet

Have you ever found yourself wondering “is my dog overweight”? You’re not alone! In fact, obesity is one of the most common diseases veterinarians see in their patients. To help ensure your pup lives a happy, healthy, and long life, we’ve asked our Freshpet vet, Dr. Aziza, to share the top signs that your dog may need to lose weight.

Sign #1: Feeding instructions aren’t consistently followed

Some pet parents may leave food out all day, allowing their dog to graze at will. Alternatively, they may give a certain amount of food every day but use unique tools to gauge how much food to give – for example, a large soda cup from a gas station (trust me, I’ve seen it all!). It’s very important to follow the feeding instructions provided by the pet food company to prevent overfeeding. For instance, if the instructions are based on giving a certain amount of cups per day, make use of a measuring cup used for cooking.

Fortunately, Freshpet proves to be the best dog food for maintaining a dog's healthy weight by providing the serving sizes right on their slice and serve rolls. Just find the recommended feeding amount for your dog based on weight, then slice, dice, and serve. This healthy dog food is that easy!

Brown-eyed dog looking into the distance in an outdoor setting

Sign #2: You can’t see or feel your dog’s ribs

If you’ve ever found yourself asking ‘is my dog overweight?’, you’ll be happy to know that there are two easy methods of checking at home:

Sign #3: You can’t see your dog’s waist

Your dog’s waist should be noticeable looking down onto their back or from the side. If there is a sagging appearance in your dog’s profile at the waist or if their back is the shape of a loaf of bread, then there’s a good chance your dog is overweight.

Large dog laying on hardwood floor

Sign #4: Your dog has low energy levels

Dogs who are overweight tend to not have the energy to be active. They are carrying extra pounds that put unnecessary stress on their joints making it more difficult to get around. This means that activities such as running, playing, or even walking up and down the stairs become inaccessible – consequently, they become “couch potatoes”. If your dog seems to do nothing but eat, sleep, and lay around all day, it’s likely they are overweight.

Sign #5: Eating is your dog’s only activity

Continuing on from the previous sign, dogs who eat a lot without appropriate exercise will gain weight. There are some dogs who love food so much that they seem to be hungry all the time, but if they are already overweight then they’re not truly hungry. However, there are some dogs who are overweight but don’t eat a lot. In these cases, the two most common causes include:

Small, old dog laying in the sheets and pillows of a bed

If you recognize any of the signs that Dr. Aziza has highlighted, there’s a good chance that your dog is overweight. If this is the case, make sure you take a look at our blog on how to keep your dog at a healthy weight and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to create a tailored weight loss plan.

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