7 Key Facts about Overweight Dogs

Guy Blaskey 06 September 2016

1 in 3 dogs in the UK are overweight.

According to the PDSA 1 in 3 UK dogs are overweight. This causes a raft of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, cancers and more. Even more than that being overweight seriously affects a dog's quality of life. Dogs are happy when they are active and it is harder to be active when carrying more weight.

The right type of food helps

Making sure that your dog consumes less calories than they expend is one of the first pieces of advice you will be given if you have a fat dog. This is true, but it is not the whole truth. Low quality foods tend to be bulked out with grain, such as wheat. This can spike insulin levels, which increases the amount of stored body fat. Even some 'veterinary' diets contain grain. This is because food produced by large companies does not use the most up to date nutritional research. Look out for this! Make sure your dog has a grain-free, low-calorie food, like Pooch & Mutt's Slim and Slender.

How to tell if your dog is overweight

It is relatively simple to tell if your dog is overweight. Simply stoke the side of their body and note if you can feel their ribs. You should be able to feel each individual rib, with a small layer of padding. If you cannot feel your dog's ribs they are overweight and you need to do something about it. There are no exceptions to this. People think their dogs are just 'cuddly'. This is wrong, and you think this you are cheating your dog.

Supplements can help

Although it can be counter-intuitive to think that adding to a dog's diet can help them lose weight, but there are some natural ingredients that can help a dog lose weight. These include; CLA and L-carnitine - which help burn fat, Psyllium - which helps dogs to feel fuller, Probiotics and Prebiotics which help digestion. These supplements can all be purchased individually, however they are all contained within Pooch & Mutt's weight-control food, Slim and Slender.

This is all our fault

Dogs don't feed themselves. If they are fat it is because we are a) feeding them too much, b) feeding them the wrong things, c) they are getting too little exercise, or d) a combination of a, b and c. It is up to us to take responsibility for this and to make sure that we fix it.

How to use treats

Treating your dog can be essential, particularly if you are training them. Over-treating can often get the blame for dogs being obese, and this is often the case. One report has shown that a single Bonio treat has the same equivalent calorific load as a Chunky Kit Kat does for humans... and they recommend feeding 3 a day!! There are 2 ways to treat your dog without adding to the obesity problem: 1) Take a handful of the dog food from their daily feed and use the kibbles as treats. This stops you adding any extra into the diet. 2) Find a low-calorie, health dog treat like Pooch & Mutt dog treats, then makes sure you reduce their feed when you give treats.

Ignore feeding guidelines 

OK.... don't totally ignore feeding guidelines, but remember that they are just guidelines. They should be the starting point when you feed. Each dog is different, does different exercise, has a different metabolic rate, so the amount you need to feed is different. If your dog is not losing weight when fed the amount on the feeding guide you will need to reduce the amount given.