A Few Extra Pounds on a Dog can Change Their Life

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Pet obesity is a major problem in the U.S. and other countries and it can lead to shortened life spans and lower quality of life for overweight pets. Many dog owners do not think about their pet’s excess weight in proportion to their pet’s overall body size, which is one reason why the pet obesity problem is so pervasive.


My Dog is Only a Few Lbs. Overweight…

To illustrate the concept of proportion, take an example of a small dog that should weigh 10 lbs. at its ideal weight. Assume that this dog actually weighs 13 lbs. Many pet parents might laugh this off and argue that “it’s only 3 lbs.”. And they are right, it is only 3 lbs., but that 3 lbs. could change their dog’s life, if not their lifespan. In this example, this poor dog would be classified as obese! They are 30% overweight (3 lbs. on a 10 lb. body). To put this into perspective, a human who should weigh 150 lbs. and who was 30% overweight would be carrying an extra 45 lbs. of fat and weigh-in at 195!

just a few pounds

When it comes to dogs, a few lbs. can really make a difference and pet parents should be aware that in many instances a few lbs. is all that is needed to increase the health risks for their pet.


A Little Overfeeding = Fat Dog

The idea of proportion also applies to overfeeding. Pet parents who slightly overfeed their dogs each day, even by just a little, will end up with a fat pet. An illustration can shed some light on this.


The average dry pet food contains around 400 calories per cup. Thus, 1/8 of a cup of an average dry food will contain 50 calories. If a pet parent overfeeds by “only” 1/8 of cup each day, their pet would gain over 5 lbs. in a year. Yikes. Imagine how this pet would feel after 2 or 3 years of being overfed like this. They would likely be sluggish, have low energy, their joints would hurt, and their lifespan would likely be 10-20% shorter than if they were properly fed and at a more ideal weight.


The bottom line is that small amounts of excess weight, or small amounts of overfeeding, will both add up and cause health problems for a pet. Talk with your vet and determine an ideal weight for your pet, and the feed the correct amounts each and every day. Your pet will thank you for it.

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  1. every lb counts, I always imagine I had to run while holding 4 bags of sugar or flour … and that are “just” 4 lbs…
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog THIS&THAT TUESDAYMy Profile

  2. Excellent reminder that a little can have a huge impact. I measure out every single meal the pups get, and make sure they keep their beautiful waistline.
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…What’s So Special About Single-Ingredient Dog Treats?My Profile

  3. We hear this over and over online, but when our vet actually told Mom she was so thrilled with all of us and our overall condition and weight because she almost always has to go to the diet and fitness lecture with pet parents it really made us feel good. She said the exact words, just a couple pounds can make a couple years difference in life span. So very important!
    Emma recently posted…Take Good Buddy Along To CampMy Profile

  4. I never paid much attention to how many calories were in a cup of dog food. I never had to think about it because Daisy and now Cocoa always ate/eat only what they want and then leave the rest until they are hungry again. And we run or walk every day. I like to be aware though because like you said, even a few pounds make a difference!!
    Julie recently posted…BlissMy Profile

  5. I may get a few pouty looks for more food, but I know one of the best ways to keep the pups healthy for life is by keeping them trim.

  6. So true. Every little bit counts.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Thankful For Family – Furry And NoneMy Profile

  7. As I have bragged on here before, we took 13 pounds off of Bentley. Now we are working at taking the weight off of me! I quit smoking last year and like many others, I gained the weight. It is a real struggle but I will win this battle too.
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…10 Snappy Comebacks When Your Dog Is InsultedMy Profile

  8. Excellent post. Most people would fluff that off (it’s just three pounds) but when put into perspective like that, they can see the benefit of helping their pet lose the weight.

    My vet swears I’ve given Sampson and Delilah another 2 years of life just by helping them lose all that weight.
    Jodi recently posted…Rocky’s Rollers Rock Our World #SponsoredMy Profile

  9. It is important to keep in trim, but so many pets are now overweight that people see that as normal.
    Clowie recently posted…What’s in a Name?My Profile

  10. If people want to bond with their dogs through food – at least choose healthier alternatives so the pounds do not accumulate. I buy healthy foods for Blueberry that I don’t eat myself – but I know she loves snacking and it’s better for her to snack on baby carrots or blueberries rather than hot dog pieces and cheese!
    Blueberry’s human recently posted…Music MondayMy Profile

  11. This is so true! When Haley was a few pounds overweight, I noticed a huge difference in her behavior and energy level. I’d still like to get a few more pounds off of her so she’s more on the trim side than “normal” weight.
    Elaine recently posted…Can You Meditate With Your Dog?My Profile

  12. Great reminder, it’s easy to put it on but so hard to get it off, even a few pounds.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Preacher And The Pigeon For Some FitnessMy Profile

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