How to tell if your dog is overweight

How to tell if your dog is overweight

We all love our four-legged family members very much, and sometimes we show this love through extra food and treats… However, this is not always to their benefit! If you are worried your pet is overweight, there are a few things to look out for.

As always, if you are worried, please consult your trusted veterinarian who can check for underlying symptoms and work on a plan of action for you.  


The ‘Rib Test’

You should always be able to feel your pet’s ribs by running your hand along their abdomen. If you cannot, this is a sign of too much excess fat. However, you should not be able to see their ribs, as this is a sign of being underweight.


Waist check

When looking at your dog from above, they should appear to have an hourglass-shaped figure. You should be able to clearly identify their waist. If their waist looks straight or ‘thick’, this is another indicator they could be overweight.


Shape of Abdomen

Looking at your dog from the side, their shape should be wider at the chest and thinner at the abdomen (kind of like a curve). If this looks straight or if the abdomen is prominent, then this is a cause for concern.



Loss of energy and stamina

Like humans, carrying extra weight takes a strain on the body which can result in becoming tired more easily and not being able to do as much exercise as they would have before.

If your dog is displaying less want to engage in physical activity (walkies!) or has reduced doing things like tail chasing, fetching, or showing less enthusiasm to see you after a period of time away, this is another warning sign.

Difficulty moving around the home

If your dog takes a few attempts to jump onto the couch with you, or no longer follows you up and down different levels in the house, there is probably a weight problem. They may see it as too much effort to get their extra body weight upstairs and down them again, so avoid doing it at all!

As always, you should talk to your vet if you are worried about an overweight dog. Extra walkies and being mindful of food intake are always the simplest place to start. Our Light Chicken with Rice and Vegetables is a great option as well for dogs watching their weight, with 40% less fat!