Is Your Dog Overweight?

Canine obesity is an escalating problem in the U.S. and can severely impact a dog’s quality of life.

If your dog is too heavy, she’s not alone. Recent studies suggest that 40 percent of canines in the U.S. – roughly 17 million dogs - are overweight (5-19 % over ideal weight) or obese (20+% over ideal weight). And the numbers are climbing.

Obesity Compromises Your Dog’s Health

Like humans, obesity compromises your dog’s health in numerous ways.

  1. Obese dogs are at higher risk for developing serious health problems such as arthritis, heart disease, and respiratory conditions.
  2. Excess weight puts strain on joints and ligaments which can result in soft tissue injuries and joint problems. For example, hip dysplasia - a painful and often debilitating condition - is becoming more common as obesity rates climb.
  3. Obesity can severely affect your dog's quality of life by making exercise and play more difficult or even impossible.
  4. Obesity ages all body structures prematurely and can shorten your dog’s lifespan.

Some Dogs are at Greater Risk

There are several factors that can increase your dog’s chances of becoming overweight.

  • Diet and lifestyle: Not surprisingly, overfeeding and lack of exercise are the two biggest contributors to canine obesity. Some specific risk factors include:
  • - Dogs who get less than 20-30 minutes of exercise daily.