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Overweight Dogs

Do you need advice on feeding your overweight dog?

Why is it important to keep dogs a healthy weight?

Many dog owners nowadays are unaware that their pet is overweight or just how harmful this can be. With over 50% of dogs in the UK thought to be overweight or obese (PFMA Pet Obesity Report 2019), being desensitised to obesity is a common issue for pet parents. Unfortunately, excess weight can lead to a series of health issues for your dog including reduced lifespan, rheumatism, arthritis and diabetes.

How can I tell if my dog is overweight?

This body condition chart can help you identify if your dog is overweight.

You can also use this handy method linked below to determine how well you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs.

Dogs who are an ideal weight have a visible waistline and you should be able to easily feel their ribs (so much so that you can count each one) with a flat palm. If you have to press to feel the ribs enough to count them then this means that there is a layer of fat covering them and your dog may be overweight. This applies for ALL breeds and ALL ages.

How much should I feel my dog's ribs?
How much should I feel my dog's ribs? How much should I feel my dog's ribs?
What is the solution?

Good diet, good dog– all of our diets aim to meet a dog’s needs and not exceed them. Diets with high protein and fat levels are often adding more calories to your dog’s diet than they can burn off and this is what leads to weight gain.

Are you sure that’s enough? – double check the feeding guidelines [link to these] and ideally this amount should be weighed out rather than done by eye. Adult feeding amounts should be based on their ideal or target weight, not their current weight if they are overweight or obese.

Treat them right – Treats should only be given as part of training and even this should be done in moderation. For many dogs using some of their daily food allowance for training is enough and avoids the potential for overfeeding by giving treats on top. If you do need to give tastier treats for training, make sure to reduce their daily food allowance to compensate.

Daily Feeding Amount
Daily Feeding Amount Daily Feeding Amount
More tips?

Tasty titbits – As well as human foods being potentially unsuitable for your dog, they are also one of the biggest contributors to dogs putting on excess weight. What seems like a small amount to you can be a lot of extra calories for your dog.

Giving a 10kg dog 30g of chicken is equivalent to us eating a large burger meal with a fizzy drink as a ‘snack’!

Work out to help out – Make exercise a regular part of your routine either on walks or around your home and garden to help them burn off extra calories.

Shop Healthy Treats
Shop Healthy Treats Shop Healthy Treats
Still feeling stuck?

Our Weight Control Chicken & Oats diet is always a great place to start for overweight or particularly hungry dogs.

You can also contact our helpline to talk to one of our expert nutritionists, who can help you come up with a plan for your dog’s weight loss journey

Read John Burns’ Blog – Caring For Your Overweight Dog for further advice and information.


Shop Weight Control
Shop Weight Control Shop Weight Control

Making a paws-itive change

For Advanced Advice
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