28 Oct Is my dog overweight?
A major part of keeping your dog happy and healthy is making sure they maintain a healthy weight. It’s all too easy to overfeed or under exercise your dog, which can quickly lead them to put on weight. Too much weight and they could be at risk of health problems like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and mobility issues.
But how can you tell if your dog is overweight, and what can you do about it if they are?
PitPat is here to help.
Visit your vet
The first step in determining if your dog is overweight is a visit to your vets. They will pop your pooch on the scales and do a body condition score. There’s nothing invasive, just a quick look and feel of their body that will indicate whether your dog is carrying the right amount of weight.
Once they’ve completed this, they’ll be able to let you know how your dog is doing and give you a weight loss (or gain) plan if needed. This will contain recommendations about your dog’s diet and exercise regimen to help them get back on track.
Body condition scoring
Once you’ve visited your vet, it can be useful to know how to do a body condition score yourself, so you can keep track in between appointments.
We’ve developed an easy-to-follow guide in our app to help you check your pup’s body condition score. Of course, this doesn’t replace the need for regular vet visits and weigh-ins.
To carry out the body condition score, first download the PitPat app and input your dog’s details.
Next head to the ‘weight’ tab and choose the option ‘Set ideal weight’. This option isn’t available for dogs under the age of one – after all, they’ve got plenty of growing still to do!
Follow the options to assess your dog’s body condition. We’ll take you through three easy steps and tell you whether your dog is at the right weight based on what you’ve told us.
Keeping a history of your dog’s weight is an important tool for any dog owner. It makes it much easier to spot both long term and sudden weight gain or loss.
We’ve made it super easy to keep a record of your dog’s weight in the PitPat app, and what’s more, it’s free even if you don’t have a PitPat yet.
Just head to the app, select the ‘weight’ tab and choose ‘update current weight’. If you know your dog’s weight already, pop it straight in. If you don’t know your dog’s weight, just grab a set of bathroom scales, and follow the instructions in our ‘weight wizard’.
Once you’ve logged your dog’s weight, you’ll see it appear in their record. Keep logging their weight on a regular basis and you’ll build up a detailed record over time. We’ll even alert you if their weight has fluctuated by more than 10%.
If you’ve got a weight goal from your vet, you can set an ideal weight in the PitPat app and see your dog’s progress towards it as you log their weight.
Choose the ‘set ideal weight’ option in the weight tab, and add their target weight along with a weekly weight change goal.
You’ll be able to see how they are doing towards their target weight over time – once the colour changes to green, they’re at the right weight!
Understanding the relationship between exercise and weight
Exercise is a major factor contributing to your dog’s weight, alongside their diet. With a PitPat dog activity monitor, you can see exactly how much exercise your dog is getting and how many calories they’ve burned.
You can use this information to understand whether they are getting the right amount of exercise and the impact it has on their weight – so you also know when they’ve earned an extra treat.
Studies have shown that keeping your dog at a healthy weight could add years to their life – so there’s no better time to start monitoring their weight than right now!
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