Statistics show that being overweight is one of the worst things you can do to your health. Not surprisingly, obesity isn’t good for your dog either. With your dog however, you need to remember that every excess pound he gains is a greater percentage of his overall weight. If a 170 pound man gains 5 pounds it’s a much smaller percentage of his weight than if a 35 pound dog gains 5 pounds. In other words, it doesn’t take very many extra pounds to start causing health problems for your dog.
As in humans, dogs that are overweight have a shorter life span and experience more medical problems than dogs that are normal weight. So, how fat is too fat for your dog? If your dog is starting to look rotund, you may want to call your vet. Most veterinarians have weight charts that show the weight ranges for the various breeds of dogs.
If Fido is packing extra pounds, realize that dogs haven’t figured out how to open the refrigerator (yet) so the reason he’s too fat is because you fed him too much or didn’t give him enough exercise. Or both. The only way to reverse the trend is to feed him less and exercise him more. You also might want to pay attention to where Fido’s food is coming from. If he’s scoring extra calories from treats, doggie biscuits, the cat’s food bowl, and the tidbits the kids give him under the dinner table, you’ll need to nix these food sources.
To help your dog lose weight, you also must increase his activity level. Even if your dog spends all day outside, he may not be doing anything more than sleeping, so he needs you to take him for a walk or inspire him to participate in a game of "fetch."
However, if your dog is seriously overweight, be sure to have your dog checked by your favorite veterinarian before embarking on any weight loss program.