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A growing problem - overweight dogs

Obesity is all too common in dogs.
You need to take action when your pet becomes
a little too cuddly as excess weight can impact negatively on his health and well-being.

Almost half of all dogs are too fat

Recent studies have shown that around 40 % of all dogs are too fat. The excess pounds are caused when a dog absorbs more energy from its food than its body actually needs. This starts a vicious circle. The extra weight discourages the dog from playing and exercising.

So it becomes increasingly sluggish and puts on even more weight.

The risk of excess wegiht

Excess weight is dangerous as it can bring health problems in its wake. The risk of joint disease, skin disease, heart and circulatory problems and diabetes all increase. Some experts say that overweight dogs also have a shorter life expectancy.

These dogs put on weight faster

The ease with which a dog becomes overweight depends on a number of factors. Some breeds such
as Labradors and Cocker Spaniels are more prone to putting on weight than others. Neutering also favours weight gain. Many dogs need less food after they are neutered, but they appear to be hungrier. The risk in- creases even further as the dog ages and exercises less. For any dog, however, the less exercise it has, the more it will put on weight.

Big dog sitting

Excess weight is mostly home made

If a dog becomes fat, it is almost always the feeding that is at fault. Often the owner has wrongly assessed how much food the dog needs or regards an already chubby shape as entirely normal. Dogs are given too much or to nutritious food. They also receive too many treats. Many dogs do not have a normal feeling of satiety and are still hungry even when given the right amount of food.


Hormonal imbalances can also cause a dog to become overweight. Always check with your vet if you are in any doubt.

Andrea Gobel

“Lose weight healthily without the yo-yo effect.

The biggest favour you
can do for your overweight

dog is to feed him correctly.”

Andrea Göbel

Veterinarian at the Happy Dog Service Centre

Dieting tips

Set a goal

It helps to start by setting a realistic goal weight for your dog. Then you should change your dog over to food with a lower calorie and crude fat content and more crude fibre.

Weigh your food - don't guess

Always weigh the amount accurately on your kitchen scales. If you want to offer treats, take them from the food you have already weighed out. And, of course, you should never give your dog food from the table.

Watch the wet food

Wet food with a fat content not exceeding 1 % is permitted, on the other hand, as long as you deduct it from the dry food total.

Feed separately

Always feed overweight dogs separately from your other pets and give them several small portions each day.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

As well as changing the food, you also need to keep your dog on his toes. Gradually increase the length of your walks. If your dog appears unwilling to go out, take him to the vet straight away.

The signs of success are rapid

Weigh your dog regularly. The first signs of success should be visible in your dog after three to four weeks, provided you have supervised the diet and encouraged exercise. If not, you should try to find out if your dog has another source of food (neighbours, grandma, etc.) and revise the diet plan accordingly.

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