Overweight Dogs: What You Need to Know

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“Overweight dogs” refers to dogs that carry excess body weight, often due to overfeeding and lack of exercise. It can lead to health issues such as joint problems, heart disease, and reduced lifespan. Proper nutrition and exercise are essential for managing their weight.


Pet obesity is a highly prevalent issue, similar to its occurrence in humans, and can have negative implications for a dog’s well-being. An overweight pet experiences additional strains on its body and faces an elevated susceptibility to diabetes, liver complications, and discomfort in the joints.

Obesity develops when energy intake exceeds energy requirements. The excess energy is then stored as fat. Even after excessive calorie intake ceases, a pet that has become obese may continue to be obese. The primary cause of obesity in most cases is attributed to overfeeding and a lack of physical activity.

Certain groups of dogs appear more prone to obesity than others. Specific breeds (Labrador retrievers and pugs, for example) and older dogs are particularly prone.

Is your dog too heavy? To check if your pet is healthy, you should be able to feel its bones. If you can’t feel your dog’s ribs without pushing, it means there’s too much extra fat.

Additionally, when observing your pet from above, it is important to observe a distinct “waist” formation, which should be visible between the back of the rib cage and the hips. Viewed from the side, there should be a “tuck” in the tummy—the abdomen should go up from the bottom of the rib cage to inside the thighs. Dogs who fail these simple tests may be overweight.

Overweight dogs

Health problems for dogs caused by Being overweight:

An overweight dog is one that has accumulated an excessive amount of body fat beyond what is considered healthy for its breed, age, and size. This can be caused by several factors, including overfeeding, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition, or certain medical conditions.

Being overweight can lead to various health problems for dogs, such as:

Joint issues: The additional weight puts extra stress on the dog’s joints, leading to conditions like arthritis or worsening existing joint problems.

Heart and respiratory problems: The heart and lungs have to work harder to support an overweight dog’s body, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and respiratory difficulties.

Diabetes: Obesity is a significant risk factor for developing diabetes in dogs, just as it is in humans.

Reduced lifespan: Overweight dogs generally have a shorter lifespan compared to healthy-weight dogs.

We recommend that you consult your pet’s vet before starting a weight loss program, which should include these major areas:

Correct Diet

Overweight animals consume more calories than they require. Work with your veterinarian to determine your pet’s caloric requirements, select a suitable food and calculate how much to feed. To keep your pet healthy and happy, make sure their diet has the right amount of a type of fiber that is good for their gut. And, pick a type of fat that will keep their skin and fur healthy, even if they are losing weight. If your pet eats too much fiber, it may need to use the bathroom more often. This can also make it harder for their body to get all the important nutrients from their food.


Increasing physical activity can be a valuable contributor to both weight loss and maintenance. Regular exercise burns more calories, reduces appetite, changes body composition, and will increase your pet’s resting metabolic rate.

Owner Behavior Modification

A successful weight management program requires permanent changes in the behaviors that have allowed the pet to become overweight. You are providing an excessive amount of treats to your pet or not providing enough opportunities for exercise.

·Are you committed to your pet’s weight loss? Here are some important things you can do:

  • Remove the pet from the room when the family eats.
  • Feed your pet several small meals throughout the day.
  • Feed all meals and treats in the pet’s bowl only.
  • Reduce snacks or treats.
  • Provide non-food related attention.

Begging at the Table

What happens when you walk into a house and encounter the delicious aroma of your favorite home-cooked meal or freshly baked cookies? You probably gravitate toward the kitchen without even thinking about it, especially if you’re hungry. Because most dogs enjoy the same kinds of foods that we do, it’s not surprising that they’re drawn to good smells, too. Many pet owners get frustrated when their dogs stare at them and drool while they’re eating at the table.

You can’t really blame your dog for begging at the table. But if you’d like to change her behavior, you can do so by using one or both of the following tactics:

1. Prevent begging by controlling your dog’s access to the table.

2. Teach your dog to do something else instead, such as lying down and staying on a mat or bed.

Prevent the Problem of your dog begging at the table

Sometimes it’s easiest to solve a problem by preventing it from happening. If you’d rather your dog leave you alone while you eat, you can use a baby gate to confine her to another room when you sit down for a meal. Or, if your dog is crate trained, you can put her in her crate while you eat. (Please see our article on Weekend Crate Training to learn how to teach your dog to happily relax in a crate.) To keep her busy and quiet, try giving your dog a chew bone, her dinner, or a KONG® toy stuffed with something delicious. (Please see our article on How to Stuff a Kong Toy to learn more about using food puzzle toys.)

If you’d like your dog to stay in the same room with you but refrain from loitering right next to the table or drooling on your shoes, you can use a tether to keep her in her own space.

Attach a short leash or tether (four- to six feet long) to a heavy piece of furniture or an eye hook in the baseboard. (You can buy a length of chew-proof plastic-coated wire with a clip on each end at most pet stores.)

Put a soft bed or mat next to the tether.

Before sitting down to eat, lead your dog to her comfy spot, and attach the leash or tether to her collar. Then give her something to chew or a stuffed KONG.

After you finish your meal, you can release her from the tether. It’s okay to give your dog a treat while you eat. They’ll be happy staying in their special spot during mealtime. (Be careful when leaving your dog tied up. They could get hurt if they get tangled in the rope.)

Teach Your Dog to Go to Her Spot and Stay

  • If you don’t want to confine your dog in an area away from the table or use a tether to restrain her, you can teach her to go to a chosen spot, usually a bed or a mat, and stay there. This skill can be useful in a variety of other situations, too.
  • When watching a movie with friends, give your dog a bone to chew on.
  • If your dog jumps on visitors, have them go to their spot when the doorbell rings.
  • If you’re out with your dog, bring their bed or mat and have them settle on it when you need them to be calm. To learn how to teach your dog to go to a bed or mat and stay, please see our article on Teaching Your Dog to Settle.

Additional Tips and Troubleshooting

If you don’t want your dog to beg at the table, don’t give her tidbits from your plate. If she sometimes scores a delicious morsel when she barks, whines, and stares at you while you eat, she’ll diligently try those tactics whenever you sit down for a meal.

Don’t worry, feeding your dog human food won’t make them beg at the table. But when teaching a dog new skills or treating certain behavior problems, using high-value treats, like small pieces of chicken, cheese, or hotdog, can accelerate the training or treatment process. Luckily, dogs can learn very specific rules. It’s okay to give your dog the foods you eat, too. Just avoid feeding her from the table so she learns that she never gets anything in that context.

If your dog asks for handouts by barking or whining when you eat, please see our articles on Barking and Whining for additional help.

Avoid yelling at your dog if she begs at the table or barks for food while you’re eating. Giving her attention of any kind—even if it’s negative attention—might convince her to keep begging. Instead, try giving your dog a time-out.

Before you sit down to eat, attach a lightweight leash to her collar. Let the leash drag on the floor. The instant your dog barks or starts to whine, quickly take hold of her leash and lead her to a time-out area. (A dog-proofed room of any kind will work fine. Just make sure there’s nothing fun in the area—no toys, no chews, and no people to play with.

 Time-out should be entirely boring.) When you get to the time-out area, tether your dog to a heavy piece of furniture or use a baby gate to confine her.

Then go back to the table. After a minute or two, you can release your dog from the time-out area.

Repeat this procedure every time your dog starts to whine or bark for food. If you’re consistent, she’ll learn that begging results in banishment—far away from the thing she wants most!

As a loving dog owner, you may not be aware of the potential dangers that lurk in your backyard. It’s not just pesticides and toxic substances that pose a threat to your furry friend. Many plants, shrubs, and flowers that look harmless can cause severe health problems and even prove to be fatal to your pet. In this blog article, we will discuss some of the most common poisonous plants that can harm your dog and provide you with essential information to keep your pet safe.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handles over 180,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances every year. Among them, plants are the 7th most common toxin ingested by pets. It’s a shocking statistic that highlights the importance of pet owners being aware of the potential dangers of poisonous plants.


Q: What is the fastest way for a dog to lose weight?

A: The fastest way for a dog to lose weight is through a combination of a controlled, balanced diet and increased exercise.

Q: What happens when a dog is overweight?

A: When a dog is overweight, it can lead to health problems such as joint issues, heart disease, diabetes, reduced lifespan, and decreased overall quality of life.

Q: How do you treat an overweight dog?

A: Treating an overweight dog involves implementing a weight management plan that includes portion control, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and monitoring progress with the help of a veterinarian.

Q: How do you know if a dog is overweight?

A: You can determine if a dog is overweight by evaluating their body condition, such as feeling for excess fat over the ribs and spine, observing their waistline, and checking for an overall rounded appearance.

Q: What are the signs to watch for a dog that is overweight?

A: Signs that a dog is overweight include difficulty in feeling their ribs, lack of a visible waistline, difficulty in moving or exercising, excessive panting, fatigue, and changes in behavior or appetite.

Q: Is there a correlation between dog obesity and human obesity?

A: Yes, there is a correlation between dog obesity and human obesity. Similar lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise habits, can contribute to both human and dog obesity.

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