Prevent Dog Obesity By Considering These 4 Corpulent Canine Clues

Posted on: 14 April 2016

Just like with humans, obesity ranks as one of the top health risks for dogs. Researchers from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that an estimated 54 percent of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Carrying too many pounds can have a sizable impact on your dog's health, eventually leading to a variety of weight-related health problems. The following offers 4 good ways to tell if your pooch needs to shed a few pounds and see a vet for dog treatment in your area.

Try the Ribcage Test

One of the easiest ways to see if your dog is becoming obese is by touching its chest. As you do so, you should be able to feel the ribs as well as the spaces between each rib. A dog that's on its way to becoming obese will collect plenty of excessive fatty tissue around this area, making it harder to feel the ribs. On an excessively overweight dog, you have to apply pressure or feel around for a long time before making contact with a rib bone.

Check Your Dog's Body Shape

Although dogs come in a wide variety of frames and body types, they'll have a trim standard physique that's universally recognized as a sign of good health. Just about every healthy dog will carry a tell-tale upward slope that extends from the base of the ribcage to the hips. An overweight dog may have a physique that's more appropriate for a hog than a canine -- a blocky profile with little to no upward slope between the ribcage and hips.  

Watch for Ginger Movement and Limited Stamina

Excess weight can add constant strain on the bones and joints, especially in dogs that are naturally predisposed to hip dysplasia and other similar arthritic conditions. This may cause your dog to move in a rather ginger manner as it walks or lies down to rest. If you've noticed that your dog is moving more cautiously than usual, it may be due to excess weight impacting the dog's bones and joints.

Limited stamina is also another sign that your dog may be dealing with excess weight issues. If your dog seems to tire out easily and displays excessive panting, you may want to have it checked out by an experienced vet for weight-related issues.

Look Out for Digestive Issues

Excess weight can also affect how your dog manages its digestive tract. If your dog takes in too many calories due to rich foods and/or limited exercise, it could develop constipation and irregularity issues in addition to packing on the pounds. Ignoring these warning signs could eventually lead to the development of diabetes and liver problems.