Some great people with a lot of time released findings that 41% of Australian dogs are obese. We’ll take their word for it, but it’s interesting to see that only 12% of dogs signed up to Scratch are considered by their owners as obese (compared to 8% are underweight).
Many vets believe that most pet parents don’t actually realise that their dog is overweight, particularly with smaller, less active breeds.
What counts as obese?
As a general rule, if your dog weighs over 15% more than the average of your dogs breed and size, they would be classed as obese.
Top 10 dog breeds likely to become obese
Why are some breeds more overweight than others?
Having a dog neutered might make your pet more prone to obesity, as will ageing. When dog’s age they become less mobile. And when their mobility decreases but their diet remains the same this can lead to an unbalanced lifestyle. Many elderly dogs don’t have their portion sizes adjusted as they slow down, eating more calories than his body can burn, leading them to pack on the pounds in his old age.
This is why we built in a personalised feeding calculator for every dog on Scratch, with the ability to update their weight, body shape and activity level as they grow up or get old.
Top 3 tips for preventing dog obesity
- Get your portion sizes right and prevent overfeeding – most obese dogs are simply just overfed. The feeding labels are confusing which doesn’t help, but many people think they’re doing a good thing by making their dog happy when handing over extra food. Ultimately, overfeeding can cut years off their lives so control those portion sizes.
- Avoid too many treats – particularly ones packed full of sugar and carbs as the main ingredients. If your dog loves treats and you love giving them (who can blame you!), make sure you reduce their main food intake to compensate so the treats aren’t extra food on top of a complete diet.
- Regular exercise – doesn’t require much explanation. Like us, the fat will start to accumulate and put stress on organs and breathing if we don’t keep the body moving.