How can I know if my dog is obese?

by Healthy Barks Social September 02, 2022 8 min read

How can I know if my dog is obese?

Obesity Issues in Dogs and The Importance of Diet 

Canine obesity is usually the result of nutritional supply beyond energy levels. It is supplementary to disorders like hard breathing and grooming, hyperthermia and cancer. This leads to increased veterinary charges and worsened quality of your dog’s life. 

How can I know if my dog is obese?

As we know how important a role diet plays when it comes to our overall health and wellness, same is the case with our furry ones. Diet plays an extremely critical role in maintaining your dog’s weight. 

As recorded by theAssociation for Pet Obesity Prevention, in 2018,  an estimated 56% of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese.

To clarify the fuss around the relation between pet food and a dog’s well being, we listed some awareness below to show some potential outcomes of feeding a certain pet food to your dog.

Let’s confront pet obesity and its associated complications. In this blog, we uncover the secrets of obesity in dogs and the importance of a well-balanced, healthy diet. 


A Big Fat Problem?

Pet Obesity remains a serious health threat. Millions of dogs globally are at risk for  weight-related disorders. 

Dogs do not gain weight overnight, rather it is a slow and steady process of gaining those extra kilos. This is similar for humans as well. A dog’s weight needs to be monitored on a regular basis as the extra kilos are bound to cause long term damage to the overall structure and health of the dog.

How can I know if my dog is obese?

In order to examine whether your dog is overweight or is not at the optimum amount of body weight, assess their spine and ribs. Pet parents should be able to find a thin level of fat splitting the skin after bones. Unluckily, if you can’t sense the ribcage, it’s an obese dog. This process of visually examining your dog’s weight is popularly known by the name - “Body Condition Score”. It is actually quite straightforward to assess your dog’s body weight condition and pet parents often get a clue if their dog has gained those extra kilos. 

Once your dog attains adulthood, ask for their ideal weight.As a thumb rule, beyond 15% of ideal body weight is an obese dog and 5 to 15% is categorized as bulky or overweight. If your pet comes under either of these groups, suggests that they are abnormal. 

Sooner or later, most pet parents are advised to do something about their dog’s obesity. Monitoring your dog’s diet and feeding all the essential nutrients in the right portions is an advised way to keep a healthy dog who lives longer. 

[Related]: Potential Reasons Behind Pet Obesity Crisis


Are Pet Parents unaware their furry ones are at risk? 

Despite dog obesity becoming a possibly life-warning disorder, it looks like pet parents are idle over the issue. Pet parents often feed their dogs if they beg for it ignoring the fact that it might jeopardize their health. 

How can I know if my dog is obese?

Being in perfect body condition has a lot to do with the diet the dog is getting. A balanced diet is the key to happiness and health in your furry one’s precious life. 

In order to maximize the wellbeing and life expectancy of their dogs, 

Pet parents need to deal with the weighty issue of obesity responsibly and more seriously. Guesstimating diets or portion sizes as a way to correct it is not a fruitful choice. The importance of good nutrition, responsible feeding and weight management cannot be underestimated. 

At healthy barks, meals are clinically formulated by vet nutritionists to provide only the required nutrition for your puppy. To build your pup’s fresh, tailor-made meal box, Get Startedhere. You can keep updating your dog’s profile with their changing needs as they grow and we will take care of the rest. 

Just like the human overweight condition - 63% of pet parents are considering dog obesity as dangerous. Whereas, one-third of pet parents (37%) are aware of pet’s weight measurement, only 7% proceed for recommended regular weight check, and nearly 30% never analyzed their dog’s weight. 


Major Reasons Behind an Obese Dog

Pet Obesity being a life-limiting condition and the obesity figures soaring, it is critical for dog parents to be well-versed with the reasons behind this complexity. If we can figure out why, we might also be able to eradicate the obesity crisis from our pet’s life. 

Let’s look at some of the major reasons behind an obese dog:


  • Feeding table scraps to dogs 

One of the main reasons when it comes to dog obesity is - ‘overfeeding’. Dog parents of overweight dogs tend to feed their dogs more snacks and treats than what is ideal for them. Giving dogs table scraps andleftover human food is another major reason, especially seen in Indian households, leading to a dog becoming obese. Dogs are also easily susceptible to the irresistible draw of processed foods, hence more likely to become fatter. It becomes the duty of the pet parents to monitor their dog’s diet and keep a regular check on their health and body weight. 

Rewarding your dog with tasty treats more than what is acceptable by their body can put your dog’s health at risk, becoming a leading cause of weight gain.


  • Not following professional feeding guidelines

Have you ever wondered how dog food industries are able to sell foods at low prices? Because, their technique is common i.e. finely crushing carcass and marketing it as “meat meal” (purchasers are often also not interested in noticing the difference). 

[Related]: How Dry Dog Food is Made

Pet parents not following professional guidance and expert nutritional advice when choosing foods for their dogs is a major contributor to the dog obesity epidemic. A dog’s diet needs to be of the right portion containing the right ingredients and essential nutrients as per their unique requirements. It’s high time pet parents follow feeding guidelines and take their pet’s weight more seriously. Following professional guidelines when deciding portion size rather than relying purely on instincts can help big time in maintaining the ideal weight. 


  • Not balancing meals with sufficient activity 

It is vital to watch closely your canine’s activity levels and correct their dietary supply if they get stalled for any reason. It is also valuable to analyse how many food delights they are consuming. Not including desired activity schedules into your dog’s life proves to be a big contributor to obesity. Likewise humans, dogs need exercise besides balancing their regular meals and treats to maintain a healthy weight. It is incredibly important for pet parents to take out activity time for their pets on a regular basis. Neglecting it is certainly a factor in bad body condition and pet obesity. Exercise also improves the general health of a dog. The best way forward is continued education of pet parents.


  • Neutering

Dogs retain more fat because of hormonal disruption, mostly the deduction of testosterone. Our experts strongly suggest not neutering pets unless they attain sexual adulthood. Neutering increases the risk of obesity. The loss of estrogens and androgens (the sex hormones) from neutering decreases the metabolic rate, increasing the risk of unhealthy weight gain. Therefore, after neutering, it is our responsibility of taking care of pets by closely monitoring their diet and giving them balanced calories.

Overfed and under exercised neutered dogs are twice as likely to become obese. Recent study byVetMed shows dogs that were neutered were 50% to 100% more likely to become overweight or obese.

[Related]: The Secret Life of Pet and Human Obesity


Dry Foods For Dogs?

Dry foods are largely the worst products available for a carnivore. What industries do, they bulk the usualkibble with complex plant cellulose, thus reducing the protein content more (cheap technique than the fat-causing methods). This technique also makes an already nutrient deficient food even poorer. Such a manner of weight loss would make your pets protein and energy deficient. Other symptoms are sinking muscle mass and gently finishing the fitness of the dog over time. 

How can I know if my dog is obese?

The magic dry foods for obese dogs suggested to your pet by vets don’t mention a single remedial quality. All dogs should be fed a nutritionally balanced diet. Welcoming professional advice in order to keep your dog in shape and feeding a complete diet that meets their nutritional requirements is the best way to prevent body weight conditions. 

Fact Check: Dry foods are exposed to cause more nutritional shortages in dogs. 


How to treat your dog’s obesity?

Overweight dogs suffer from a myriad of health problems ranging from arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease among other conditions and illnesses. It also causes physical as well as emotional distress for the parents. Obesity is far easier to prevent than treat. It is best to act now to improve your dog’s health before any of the symptoms arise. Maintaining a normal weight can reduce the risk of health problems as well as completely reverse some of the effects. 


Performing body condition scores on your dog is one of the best ways to monitor your dog’s weight. Exercising dogs to their optimum levels including the very obvious ones like introducing longer walks, running, and playing are a great way to get those kilos off. 

A core solution to the issue of pet obesity is the education of dog parents. By providing pets with optimum nutrition to maintain ideal body weight, we can make a big difference. If you think your dog is obese or overweight, contact us now for specialized diet plan (available in Bangalore).


How can I know if my dog is obese?

Quick tips to maintain ideal body weight of your dog:

  • Don’t Guess 
  • Remember individual pet needs
  • Keep in mind the portion size of your pet’s daily meals
  • Treat Responsibly
  • Don’t Overfeed
  • Exercise your pet depending on their age, breed and health
  • Regularly monitor your pet’s weight

  • It is our responsibility as pet parents to improve the fortunes of our beloved furry ones :)

    The Bottom Line

    For pet parents, it is important to ensure that their dogs live a happy and healthy life and hence, to manage the contributors leading to obesity and other health conditions. Pet parents' lack of understanding and awareness towards what constitutes a healthy size and how they need to manage an ideal body size of their dog is one of the major issues causing this life-threatening condition in dogs. 

    Note the fine fold on your dog’s neck! He doesn’t belong to a barrel shaped creature! Compare your dog with it’s breed characteristics. It will protect their health, your wealth and increase their days greatly.

    We, at Healthy Barks, as a Pet Healthcare and Fresh Food brand, believe that it is our duty to help. We design personalized meals for dogs. The meals are curated by expert in-house nutritionists keeping in view the dietary needs of your dog. Various essential factors come into play like age, breed, body weight, life stage etc.  

    We highly recommend human-grade, fresh and healthy foods for dogs. It helps in the holistic care and development of your dog. Check out Healthy Bark’s wholesome and freshChicken and Fish meal for your doggo.


    Most pet-parents often struggle with managing their pet’s nutritional requirements. We help pet parents with fresh, complete and tailored nutrition for their pets by providing personalized meal plans (made fresh with real ingredients) specially designed to meet their pet’s health needs, and formulated by a veterinary nutritionist so that they stay worry-free & can get on with spending real-time with their doggo's. We are currently serving in Bangalore. So, if you reside in Bangalore, book a free, in-person consultation with the Healthy Barks family at or feel free to call or drop us a ‘Hi’ on WhatsApp at +91 - 76767 20200. Come and enjoy a food tasting session with us!

    PS: If you have any additional queries, or would want us to cover any specific topic, feel free to tell us in the comment section below.

    Happy Wagging & Healthy Barks! :D

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