Is My Dog Fat? Warning Signs Your Dog is Obese or Overweight


Obesity among dogs is a prevalent problem. In fact, it is one of the most common diseases, but with the proper precautions, it can be prevented. Based on recent statistics from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 55.8% of the entire dog population in the United States alone are obese. Chubby and fat dogs may seem cute to other owners, but there are plenty of risks if you allow them to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Just like humans, dogs can suffer terribly when they go above their weight, it can shorten their lifestyle and lead to other diseases such as cancer, arthritis, heart diseases, and respiratory diseases. Every owner wants their dog to live as long as they can. Hence, helping them to live a healthy lifestyle should be a priority. Wondering how to assess your dog’s weight? Today, we will answer the question: “is my dog fat?” to help you implement a weight loss program that works well for your dog.


Bulldog lying on the floor


We’ve seen so many pudgy dogs online and real life and there’s something irresistible about them. As cute as it may seem, excess weight can lead to another major health concern so it is not ideal to keep them that way. The ideal weight for every dog mainly depends on two factors which are breed and age. If you’re asking the question “is my dog fat?” in your head, then we will help you change your dog’s lifestyle by being a part of it- going out for a jog, playing more often with them, and so forth.


Take the Quiz: Is My Dog Fat? 

Find out if your dog needs a strict health regime

Part one: The Body Assessment

The most obvious way of determining whether or not your dog is fat is looking at their body. Of course, this process is more than just staring at them. There is a formal system to assess if a dog’s obese and it’s called the Body Condition Score (BCS). The BCS is an assessment system for your dog’s physical condition. It is based on how you can easily feel the following parts of your dog’s body: ribs, shoulder bones, spine, hip bones, and waist. Based on these, you can assign a number from 1 to 9. The following score helps you answer the question: is my dog fat?


golden retriever dog on grass

The meaning of the scores are as follows:

1 to 3- Underweight:

Your dog has very little fat and very obvious waist to the extent that their spine, ribs, and hip bones are highly visible. These mentioned parts also appear to jut out when they’re viewed from above their body.


Brown and white dog


4 to 5- Ideal Weight:

The dog’s body is well-proportioned and when viewed from above, the waistline is visible. On the other hand, the spine, hip bones, and ribs are not as visible but can be easily felt. Moreover, the rib’s outline is easily seen and felt while the stomach is tucked up when you view it from the side.


Brown dog


6 to 9- Overweight to Obese:

The spine, hip bones, and ribs are not easily felt or seen, the waist is hardly seen and the excess fats are distributed towards your dog’s face, waist, and ribs. On the other hand, the stomach is very rounded when you view it from the side.

Bulldog sitting on a stool


Part two: Other warning signs of obesity

After examining your furry buddy’s body, the next thing to watch is their attitude and behavior. We have listed some symptoms below that can help in answering the question in your head: “is my dog fat?” Well, it’s time to find out before it’s too late. Remember, for every symptom that it is observable from them, you get a point. More points mean that your dog is struggling with excess weight or obesity.

  1. Your dog is struggling to get up after sitting or lying.
  2. Your dog is constantly panting.
  3. Your dog is wheezing while breathing.
  4. They are avoiding play or they do not play with you as much as they used to.
  5. They need help getting back whenever they get out of the car, sofa, bed, stairs, and other places.
  6. Minimal movement makes them tired.Not enough stamina to do activities with you.


Based on the following scores, you can now determine if your beloved pet is underweight, overweight, or just ideal. If they’re more on the overweight side, then we will help you and your dog reduce those excess fats by following these easy steps below.


White dog lying down on the floor


The Journey to Getting Your Dog Fit and Healthy

We all want to have our furry buddy with us as long as they can so making extra effort to make sure that they’re safe and healthy is worth the extra mile. With these following steps, you can help your dog in reducing their excess fat which can make them struggle less and live life longer and disease-free.

1. Visit your veterinarian:

The most obvious step of course, is to take your dog to the local vet to help you create a weight loss program that works for them. Not all dogs are the same so device planners are different to every dog.


Fat dog lying down

2. Imply changes on your dog’s diet:

You need to create a diet program for your dog. The main goal of the program is to reduce their caloric intake. You can start by feeding them healthy food and less kibbles, treats, and scraps from the table. Create a diet plan that is full of extra protein and fiber. Thus, you need to reduce the habit of giving them treats. Ideally, treats should not account for more than 100 calories of their daily consumption. To know their ideal caloric intake, most dogs need to consume 25 to 30 calories per pound daily. Or you can ask your vet for expert advice. Just remember that you shouldn’t starve them, either.


dog eating carrot

3. Help them to be more active:

Our dogs are usually idle without us so whenever we have the time, take some effort to play with them, go outside and do some running or jogging, take them to the park and walk to burn the extra calories off. Every effort we make to keep them fit and healthy is worth it.


Dogs playing catch


Now that we’ve answered the question: “is my dog fat?” We hope that you take time and carry out some lifestyle changes on behalf of your dog. We want our most loyal buddies to be happy and live with few hurdles hence, a healthy lifestyle is the solution for a life with struggle. Immerse yourself in your dog’s daily activities despite your busy life. They will begin to anticipate playing with you which can burn some calories off them in the process.

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