How to know if your dog is overweight ? Tips to lose your dog’s weight

Everyone is aware of the benefits eating well, being fit and exercising regularly, brings.  Many spend a massive amount of money on a gym membership so that they can be healthy. Not forgetting the large chunk of organic products and natural fast busters many consumed on a daily basis. We, humans, do these things to ourselves so we can lead a healthy life, but what about our dog?

Do we show much concern about their weight and fitness? Obesity comes with many different diseases that can be life-threatening. And the same way being obese can hurt the health of humans; dogs also suffer the same thing. So how to help your dog lose weight is what should be on your mind as a dog owner. This post takes a critical look at how to figure out if your dog is overweight and action to take. Read on!

how to know if your dog is overweight

How to identify an obese dog fast or how to know if your dog is overweight ?

Every dog owner would love to have a dog that is fit and healthy. But this does not happen without help. In other words, you need to check if your dog is fit or overweight and take the necessary steps if the result is unpleasant. The following are ways you can identify an overweight dog so you can take adequate steps to ensure it is fit and healthy.

  1. Use a scale

I make use of my bathroom weighing scale to determine my weight. I do not listen to people telling me I am looking obese. I have also learned to use the same thing on my dog and I have must confess that readings from scales have been a lot helpful. So if you suspect that your precious pet is overweight, get your bathroom scale and take her reading.

But this might be confusing to many because dogs come in different sizes and shapes. So looking at her actual weight, you may quickly think your dog is overweight or too lean when that is not the case.

Understand that dogs have different breeds, as with humans. Humans have different sizes and body shapes. After weighing your dog using a scale, do not panic when the result seems rather unpleasant. Use a calculator to do this simple math which I am about to show you.

Here is the math;

Some charts show the weight of each breed of dog. You can get one online or visit a veterinarian nearby.  With the chart and understanding of the height and age of your dog, you can determine if the dog is overweight or not. The table displays what the ideal weight of each breed of dog should be as well.

Now the simple math is; if you discover that the dog after weighing is 5 – 19 per cent heavier than what he should be, then the result indicates that he is overweight.

  1. Conduct the rib test

The rib test is not applicable in humans, but it is with dogs. It can help you determine if your dog is obese or not. This test is also straightforward. Every dog owner can perform it on their pet. Just round your hands through his abdomen and flanks. If the dog is not obese, you will be able to feel each of the ribs.

However, most dogs have visible ribs. That is you can see them physically. Having such a dog is also an issue. The reason you were able to spot the bones is that the dog is too skinny. So the rib test is not about seeing the ribs physically. You just have to feel it, and that is it.

What about an overweight dog?

Sometime last year, I did this test on my dog, Marvel. I passed my hands around his abdomen and flanks, and then I discovered he was overweight. How did I know this? I could not feel his ribs. That is what the rib test is majorly about. If you cannot feel the ribs of your dog, it then means that your dog has accumulated too much fat.

  1. Breathing problem

Does your dog pants almost all the time even when the weather is not hot? If yes, the number one culprit is excessive weight. Another possible cause is stress. But if he is not going through any stress, then he is overweight.

An easy way to find out is to take your dog for a short walk. Then pay attention to the distance he covers before panting hard. The bottom line is if your dog runs out of breath too quickly, then it is a sign he is out of shape.

  1. Challenges with getting around

Have you ever observed individuals who are weighing excessively? They have trouble moving around. Many would prefer to remain on one spot for many hours. And even when they decide to get up, they find it hard to do so quickly. For a dog, it is non-negotiable because they are naturally athletic pets.

In other words, your dog should have the ability to get up from the ground, move and also get down quickly. The only thing that may prevent a dog from acting in this manner is medical issues. Apart from that, if your dog cannot get up quickly after lying down or cannot act smart or jump on the couch, then it is evident that the dog is overweight. So think of ways to help your dog lose weight fast.

  1. Constipation

Even if you do not conduct a test, an easy way to find out that your dog is overweight is when he has health issues like constipation. They tend to develop gas and other digestive problems of which constipation is one of them. If you start noticing this problem, know that you need to make your dog fit again.

  1. Consider the waist

You can also figure out whether your dog is overweight or not through his waist. For this, you need to observe it from the top, most especially when he is not lying down.

You should be able to spot his waist at this position. In other words, your dog should have that hourglass shape if he is not overweight. But if by any chance the figure of your dog thicker or straight, and you are unable to spot the waist, then it is obvious he needs to lose weight.

Reasons why being overweight is not good for your dog

Every pet owner wants their dog to be in good shape always. A healthy dog will be easy on your budget. You will also not spend most of your time at the vets because of the condition of your dog.

Overweight as earlier said can make dogs unhealthy and unhappy. It can cause several health conditions that can be quite troubling.

  1. Arthritis

The joints of overweight dogs face intense pressure. And this is because of the extra weight they are made to carry. In this condition, the cartilage in the dog’s joint will begin to deteriorate. And with time, it would lead to arthritis. However, using pain medication can provide relief at this stage. But the best option that can have a significant impact is weight reduction.

  1. Decreased liver function

The liver helps to store fat. But then, being overweight does not allow this organ to perform this duty. When a dog gains more weight, then more fat will develop in the liver itself which can even cause decreased liver function. This condition is known as hepatic lipidosis.

  1. Anesthesia risk

The use of anesthesia on an overweight dog is a risky activity. The reason is that being overweight or obese will cause the pet to work a bit harder than usual. He will experience challenges expanding his chest, and even struggle to breathe smoothly. So if your dog is overweight, do something about the weight before undergoing anaesthesia, otherwise, it will take a longer time to wake up.

  1. Reduced quality of life

Obesity can reduce the quality of life of your beloved pet. In short, you will not enjoy the company of an obese or overweight dog. He will get tired quickly when engaged in little activities. Playing will also be uninteresting to such a dog. Plus he will also be annoyingly slow to get up and down.

  1. Tumor

An obese dog is prone to the development of a tumor. He can develop benign fatty tumors or even bladder and break cancer.

  1. Heart disease

In humans, obesity can cause life-threatening conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. The same thing can also happen to dogs. Overweight dogs can develop breathing challenges. They may create a form of collapsing trachea and laryngeal paralysis which can be fatal if not addressed at the appropriate time.

  1. Torn ACL

First, know that a torn ACL is not something one can fix with simple medication. It requires surgery which can be expensive. Excess weight is responsible for the splitting of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), a vital ligament situated in the knee area.

  1. Diabetes mellitus

Another common problem obese dogs experience is the development of sugar diabetes. As blood glucose levels increase, so will insulin secretion. Do not forget that an overweight dog will require more insulin because of the vast amount of tissue he has.

However, diabetes results when the body can no longer sustain the demand for insulin. And if this demand continues to increase, the cells found in the pancreas can even burnt out.

Revealed: How to make a dog lose weight

How do I help my dog lose weight? I asked myself this exact question when I discovered my pet was obese. It was terrible. But I did not give up hope knowing that I loved my pet and wanted to have him around for more years.

You can help your dog shed those extra pounds with ease. It is not something to sweat over. Just a few dietary changes among other things will fix the weight of your dog. If you are done with the “how to know if your dog is overweight” section of this post and can detect if a dog weighs excessively, then learn how to make your dog to lose weight and be healthier.

  1. Offer less carb, more protein diets

Many prescription diets do not offer a useful solution when it comes to weight loss. In short, they make it, even more, challenge for the pet to lose weight. The ratio of protein and fats to carbohydrates matters considerably when dealing with weight loss than even the amount of calories. Hence you need to consider the quantity of carb in your dog’s diet.

Your dog will perform well on low carb and high protein diet. Your dog will lose weight and keep fit under such a diet. That is the typical diet for canines. You can also consider fat but in moderation.

  1. Offer veggies

There are many options to the processed treats one purchase from stores. Examples are green beans, cucumbers, celery, baby carrots, bananas and sliced apples. The foods are not only delicious but healthy for your beloved dog. They can also contribute to weight loss.

  1. Choose the right fats

Fish oil helps to promote weight loss, according to recent human and canine studies. The research shows that EPA and DHA (omega – 3 fatty acids) gotten from fish oil contains excellent weight loss benefits. They also can make dieters feel fuller when consumed. But you need to give your dog the right proportion of fish oil.

If the canine, in question, has health issues like arthritis or heart disease, 3 mg of fish oil will be conducive. However, some of the cod liver oils also provide vitamins D and A which will be beneficial for your dog.


Being overweight can reduce the quality of life of your dog. Of course, it would result in sickness and health conditions you may find unpleasant. Obesity can make it difficult for your dog to be as active as it used to be. So you need to do everything possible to make your dog healthy and fit always.

You may like these articles as well: 

Why does my dog lick my feet?

Why does my dog bark at me?

Why does my dog pee on my bed?

Why does my dog eat dirt?

How to clip dog nails when dog is scared of it?


About David Huner

David Huner is a dog lover. Dog training has become a passion for him. With many years of experience he is here to share his tips and ideas. His goal is to provide exact dog training solutions. His favorite quote is "Train your dogs, enjoy your life and be happy"

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