Is Your Dog Too Fat? What You Can Do about It

dog eating while looking at the camera

According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 53% of U.S. dogs are overweight or clinically obese and they just keep getting fatter. It is a serious problem that is limiting dog health and lifespan.

Just like humans, dogs are facing an obesity epidemic and it is killing them. Overweight dogs are prone to having diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. They may get chronically painful joints due to the extra strain placed on them.

But why are so many dogs overweight? The main causes of canine obesity are overfeeding and not enough exercise.

Too Much Food

Many owners don’t follow manufacturers feeding guidelines and give their dog portion sizes that are too large.

Too Many Treats

Lots of owners think they are being kind by offering their dogs too much treats, but these can cause weight gain.

Poor Quality Food

Cheaper dog foods have poor quality and may cause weight gain without offering much nutrition. Some contain as little as 4% meat meal and have fillers such as tapioca or grains like wheat and barley to pad out the meal. They often contain sugars that are fuelling the diabetes epidemic among pets.

Lack of Exercise

About 30-60% of owners don’t walk their dogs regularly and the most obese dogs don’t get walked at all. However, even small breeds such as Bichon’s need around 20 minutes of walking a day and a Labrador could need three hours.

Weight Loss Food for Dogs

A low protein diet for dogs can help them lose weight and stay healthy. Lower protein and higher carbs discourage fat accumulation and added fiber aids smooth digestion. Under careful direction from a veterinarian, owners can help their pets shed some pounds.

Developing a daily exercise routine, controlling portion sizes, banning treats, and giving good quality food could help your dog lose weight and live longer.