Your dog’s body shape

From the image you selected, your dog may be overweight.

Dogs need to be at a healthy weight to live their best lives, so it is essential that owners keep a close eye on their pet’s shape and weight. That way, if your dog suddenly loses a lot of weight or they pile on the pounds, you can help get them back on track.

Being overweight can cause your dog health problems because it puts pressure and strain on their body. Obesity can also worsen or trigger health problems such as arthritis, cancer and breathing difficulties. Dogs’ quality of life can be impacted too, as they may find it harder to exercise and enjoy playtime. They may also find it a challenge to cope in hot weather.

Overweight dogs are at risk of:


How to help your overweight dog

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of things you can do to help your best friend get back to their happy and healthy shape:

  • Firstly, visit your vet. They’ll be able to give your pet a health check, as well as providing advice and support to help your dog lose weight.
  • Weigh your dog, so you have a starting point for their weight loss journey.
  • Aim for your dog to lose weight gradually. 1-2% of your pet’s starting weight each week is a good target.
  • If your dog is a little overweight, feeding a bit less and avoiding those high fat treats or switching to a lower-calorie food may be all that’s needed. Very overweight dogs may need a special weight loss diet, as reducing their usual food too much can mean they don’t get all the other nutrients they need.

Click on the cards below for our expert advice on feeding your dog treats, doggy diets, exercise, and Body Condition Scoring (BCS).

A depiction of an overweight dog and a list of ways you can tell if your dog is overweight


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Dogs come in many shapes and sizes. The type and amount of food they need depends on your particular pooch. Read our advice on feeding your dog the right diet.

Diet advice

Body Condition Scoring

Body Condition Scoring (BCS) helps owners and vets assess a pet’s body shape to check if they’re healthy. Read about how to check if your four-legged friend is in shape.

How to Body Condition Score

For more top tips and expert vet advice on how to improve your pet’s diet and exercise regime, download our free Weigh Up diet and exercise guide.