Check Your Dog for Fat Pads
Excess fat on your dog’s body is also a major indicator of being overweight. “Some animals will have fat sacks between their legs that will waddle when they walk,” says Dr. Ochoa. She also recommends inspecting your dog’s hips during petting sessions. “Overweight dogs will have fat pads on the top of their hips.”
Overweight and obese dogs are typically inactive and spend a lot of time scarfing down their food. If you notice that your dog has become a couch potato, has trouble walking, exhibits trouble breathing when walking, and generally appears to have trouble moving about, they might be fat. Also, if you free-choice feed your dog throughout the day, this can encourage obesity.
The best way to tell if your dog is overweight or obese is with a weigh-in at your veterinarian. Your vet can then tell you whether your dog is overweight according to your dog’s size and breed. Remember that a healthy weight will look different for every breed. For example, most sighthounds should have visible ribs.
They will also examine your dog’s body and compare it to a body condition score chart, which ranks a dog’s body type by shape. Typically, scores range from one to nine, with one being very underweight and nine being extremely overweight. The target body condition usually lies in between, around four to five.
Look at Your Dog From the Side
A sagging waist or swinging stomach is another tell-tale sign of a fat dog. When viewing your dog from the side, look for a waist that is slightly raised rather than simply hanging down and oval-shaped. “A dog’s abdomen should not be the same level as the chest and should be tucked up,” says Dr. Ochoa.
Just as your pet’s belly shouldn’t be uniformly round, their back should also feature some distinct curves when viewed from above.
“Your pets back should absolutely not be perfectly flat. That means there certainly shouldnt be a large fat pad along their sides or near the base of their tail. These so-called love handles are a definite sign of obesity in your pet,” said Nicholas.
If you look down at your pet and cant see any inward curvature near their back and front legs, it may be time to check in with a vet about making changes to your pets diet and activity levels.
The Simple Way To Know If Your Dog Is Overweight – Veterinarian Explains
Plump babies, pudgy puppies — humans seem drawn to chubby things. But when dogs and their people grow up, the health effects of being overweight can be far from cute.