6 Ways to Determine if Your Dog is Overweight

Are you concerned about your pet’s weight? According to a 2018 clinical survey, “an estimated 56 million cats and 50 million dogs are Overweight or Obese.” (https://petobesityprevention.org/2018) Lovable Pets wants to do something about that. We’ve recently announced our 2020 Fit Fur Life Weight Loss Challenge. If you’re not sure where your dog stands, these 6 Ways to Determine if Your Dog is Overweight might help.

  • Has your vet/trainer/groomer told you that your dog is overweight?

If so, it’s probably true. These professionals are used to evaluating dogs. Additionally, they are often hesitant to tell owners about a pet’s weight problem out of fear of offending them, so if they’ve mentioned it, it’s probably true.

  • Has a friend or family member told you that your pet is overweight?

Again, talking about obesity in pets is almost as taboo (or maybe more taboo) than talking about obesity in humans. Also, we Americans are used to seeing overweight pets. So if someone noticed it and thought it was worth mentioning, it’s probably true. They may not have been kind about it, and we don’t condone shaming, but it may be a clue for you to help determine that your dog needs help.


  • Is your dog lacking a “tuck-up”?

Look at your dog from the side. Most, not all, dog breeds should have a “tuck up.” This means the belly will lift up behind the rib cage and literally tuck into the pelvic area. This illustration shows a tuck. If your dog has a very subtle tuck-up or none at all, she may be overweight. Again, this will not be true of all breeds.

  • Is your dog’s figure an hourglass?

Now look at your dog from above while she is standing. Does her figure slope in from the rib cage to the pelvic area, then widen back out a bit in the hind end? If not, then she may be overweight.

  • Can you easily feel your dog’s ribs?

Run your hands down your dog’s sides. Can you apply slight pressure and easily feel the ribs? Or do you need to dig through layers of flesh to find them?  (A dense or profuse coat may have some influence. Try to work your hands into the hair.) In a dog of a healthy weight you should easily be able to palpate the ribs.

  • Does your dog tire easily or pant excessively?

If your dog has trouble enduring moderate exercise and pants even when the temperature should be comfortable, she may be overweight. These things can be caused by other factors, but they are often an indicator of obesity.

The charts on this webpage (https://petobesityprevention.org/pet-weight-check) are very informative and may help you understand what we’ve listed. If you have questions about any of these items, feel free to send us a message at lovablepetsmedia@gmail.com. We’d be happy to schedule a time to help you evaluate your dog, or to show you an example of a dog of a healthy weight.

If you’ve decided that your pet needs to lose weight and you need a helping hand, our Fit Fur Life Challenge might be the answer! You can read more about it here and apply here.