Everything you need to know to help your overweight dog lose weight

Do you have an overweight dog? If so, you’re not alone. According to 2018 research from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over 50% of US dogs are overweight. As dog parents, we play a big role in maintaining the health and fitness of our furry friends. And the good news is, this article can help you understand why dogs become overweight – and what you can do about it.

What are the health problems associated with overweight dogs?

A bit of extra weight can come with a cost – it can negatively impact your buddy’s health and life quality. Like humans, dogs who put on more weight experience more pressure on almost all their organs. Overloaded organs can cause disease, and even lead to death. Dogs that are overweight are at higher risk of these potentially serious health conditions:

  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • breathing difficulties
  • respiratory disease
  • cancer
  • high blood pressure
  • joint injuries

Also, overweight dogs will likely have a shorter lifespan than their fellow four-legged friends. That’s why it’s important to understand if your dog is overweight, which factors may have led to this, and how you can help your dog lose weight and regain full health.

How can I tell if my dog is overweight?

There are several ways to check if your dog is overweight. If you can no longer feel your dog’s ribs when you touch their chest, this is a good sign that your dog is overweight, or maybe even obese.

You can also use the Body Condition Score Chart below or our dog BMI (body mass index) calculator to check if your dog’s weight falls within a healthy range.

Finally, your vet will be able to tell if you if your dog is overweight, how much they should ideally weigh, and recommend a plan for weight loss that is specific to your dog’s needs.

Body Condition Score Chart for Overweight Dogs

Use the Body Condition Score Chart for Dogs below to see if your dog is undernourished, at an ideal weight, or overweight. This is what vets consider the best way to evaluate a dog’s weight.

Your dog’s weight may fall into one of five categories:



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