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Dog Obesity: 3 Tell-Tale Signs Your Dog Is Overweight

Dog Obesity.

You know it exists … but do you know the facts?

Hi everybody, Tucker here!

January is almost over. 

So … let me ask you: How are your humans doing with their New Year’s resolutions?

Especially that one humans seem to make … every year.

Lose weight. 

Yep. The same one … every year.

And yet … humans are getting bigger and bigger.

Which means … if your humans are getting bigger, you probably are too.

Dog Obesity — What Are The Statistics?

My mom just read this report from a place called the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)

Click here, if you want to read the full report.

But, here’s a quick summary.

graphic showing 56% of US dogs are overweight or obese

It said … in 2017, dogs were even fatter than they were in 2016.

It said … 89.7 million of our best canine friends live here in the United States. And more than half of them are overweight!

It said … 56% of dogs in the USA need to lose weight. That’s 50.2 million dogs! 

In other words … and I really can’t believe this: 1 out of every 2 dogs in the good ole USA needs to lose weight.

Holy Moly! That’s a doggone epidemic!

With those stats … it’s either you … or that big-boned bruiser next to you who needs to up their game.

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Obese

So … how can your human tell if you … their perfect fur-baby … is overweightobese … or — here comes the f-word — just plain fat?

graphic of ideal dog body shape

Well …

  • Can they feel … and countyour ribs when they tickle you lightly on your sides?
  • Do they see an hourglass figure when they look down at you?
  • Does your belly slope upward when they look at you from the side?

If they can do … or see … all those, then you’re probably OK.

But … if they can’t count your ribs … if you look like a blimp … if your belly hangs low … well, then — you’re the overweight dog! 

WARNING: if your belly drags on the ground … or even near the ground … you have belly fat. 

Belly fat is DAN-GER-OUS!!!  It’s a sign you could have other health problems too. Your human should take you to a vet for a checkup as soon as possible

Dog Obesity = Dog Health Problems

So … what’s the big deal with packing on the pounds? Aren’t fluffy dogs cuddly dogs?

Cuddly maybe, but let me warn you. Just like your humans — overweight dogs develop health problems like …

beagle dog wearing stethoscope looking at blackboard with medical images
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney disease
  • cancer.

That’s right, overweight dogs develop more cancers. 

And … having any of these health problems means …

  • you’re probably not going to live as long as your human wants you to live,
  • you’re probably not going to be able to run and play with them like you did before, and
  • you’ll probably have to take medicine every day.

So, as my mom says: “if you want a high-quality life full of fun and games, watch your weight!”

How To Treat Dog Obesity

OK … let’s get down to the nitty gritty. To the bare dog bones, as they say.

Your human checked you over. He (or she) thinks you have a weight problem. Now what?

graphic of overweight dog body shape

Well, if …

  • they can feel those ribs but not count them,
  • your hour-glass figure is closer to a water glass, and
  • your upward belly slope looks more like a straight line …

then cutting back on some calories … and increasing your activity might just do the trick.

Here’s how Lucy, who went from chihuahua to husky after too many dog treats at a local shelter, exercised her way back into shape.

Now, if…

  • your human can’t feel your ribs,
  • your hour-glass figure is a wine-goblet, and
  • your belly sags near or on the floor …

you might have a thyroid problem. You need to see a doggy doctor for some help.

Here’s Honey’s story. She had low thyroid … along with some other problems … and, all I can say is … wow!

There are so many inspiring stories out there about our canine friends shedding excess pounds.

Here’s one more. It’s a favorite of me and my mom.

How one middle-aged, overweight dog saved his new owner’s life.

Pass me the Kleenex, please …

Well, that’s it for me.

I’ll share some more dog health and fitness tips next month.

Until then — walk on!

Tucker ~ the Maltese

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