We love our daily visits from pampered pooches here at Direct Vet’s and there isn’t a dog yet that has missed out on more than a little bit of fussing from the team!

One thing we have noticed though, is the increase in weight issues in the dogs we are seeing. While we know that dogs are more likely to suffer with being overweight than cats, and that dogs who are the only canine within their family are more likely to be overweight, it is important that we address the issue sooner rather than later. Just like we humans, being overweight or obese can severely affect the health, wellbeing and lifespan of your pet.

Much like us, excess weight can dramatically impact your dog’s cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and respiratory health, while increasing the likelihood of arthritis and decreased immune response. We all want our pet to live a long and comfortable life, which means it really is crucial that we begin to redefine what we see as ‘normal’ weight gain in our dogs.

So, how do we assess whether our fur-baby is struggling with a few extra Winter kilos? Follow our basic guidelines to see if you need to take action when it comes to your dog’s weight –

·         Is your dog more than 20% above the ideal weight for his breed/size?

·         Is your dog’s waist noticeably ballooned?

·         Can you see sagging below his abdomen?

·         Is it somewhat difficult to feel your dog’s ribs or spine?

·         Does your dog’s chest feel or appear swollen?

·         Can you notice fat deposits on your dog’s back, tail or hind legs?

·         When viewed from above, does your dog seem broader at his tail end?

If you’ve answered yes to some of these questions, your pet could certainly be considered overweight. Your best bet is to pop into the Direct Vet’s Clinic and find out for sure. You can make an appointment by calling 03 9369 1822 or visiting our online booking system.

Image Source: RSPCA Australia

If you suspect your pooch could be overweight or obese, you aren’t alone. With more than 40% of Australian household dogs thought to be overweight, your beloved dog could benefit from a Vet assessment and Body Condition Score (similar to our human BMI calculation) to determine the best route to tackling a new diet and exercise regime.