Overweight dogs: how to help your dog lose weight

Did you know?

According to a recent survey of 1,192 vets conducted by pharmaceutical company MSD Animal Health:

  • 1 in 300 dogs are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes throughout their lifetime.
  • 30,000 dogs are currently suffering from diabetes

According to the PDSA 1 in 3 UK dogs are now overweight.

Much like human type 2 diabetes, poor dog diet and lack of exercise are largely to blame.

We all want the best for our pets. However, many of us are guilty of spoiling our dogs. While an extra treat or two may be enjoyable for them in the short term, it can have a negative impact on their long-term health. As extreme as it sounds, we may just be killing them with kindness.

A fat dog can experience severe health problems including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, cancers and more. An obese dog is likely to have a poorer quality of life, compared to a healthy dog maintaining a healthy weight.

Your pooch is happiest when they are active! A fat dog will struggle to lead an active life.

Why are more dogs getting obese?

Obesity is a complex condition and there will inevitably be several factors involved. It is important we look at the whole picture and tackle the issue head on.

  •  We know that some dogs (including Labradors and Beagles) are genetically predisposed to piling on the pounds. Some breeds are hard-wired in their DNA to constantly seek food and their appetite seemingly does not have an off switch.
  • A lack of exercise and outdoor access is commonly an issue, particularly when an owner is elderly or disabled. We’ve also found that many dogs’ weights have increased during lockdown, when some owners simply did not feel safe to leave their home.
  • Over-feeding is often the biggest problem. Whether it be feeding the wrong food, overly large portions or offering too many dog treats and chews. Dogs only need a certain amount of calories and when we feed too many, they get converted into fat.
  • The media has a tendency to use over-weight dogs in their campaigns. This is seen time and time again when it comes to breeds such as Pugs and French Bulldogs in advertisements. Sadly, seeing one with a slim waist is almost a rarity. When we are bombarded with images of portly pooches, we can begin to think that they are ‘normal’.



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