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I’ve been seeing a lot of questions about this in Facebook groups recently. Many people are posting pictured of their dog and asking ‘Is my dog overweight?’ So what makes a dog overweight? How much food does your dog really need?

Can Dogs be Overweight?

Along with the general population of people, dogs are also suffering from obesity from eating the wrong food and eating too much food.

It is relatively easy to control the amount of food your dog is eating and it is essential that you gauge its weight on a regular basis to ensure that it doesn’t get obese.

What are the Medical Problems caused by Obese dogs?

Dogs can suffer from many different health problems due to obesity including diabetes.
There are an increasing number of dogs suffering from this disease and in most cases this could have been avoided through the correct nutrition and monitoring the amount of food the dog has been eating.


Having a dog with diabetes will necessitate the injection of insulin or in some cases taking of pills to assist in the maintenance of the correct sugar levels in their blood.

Obviously this involves additional expense and inconvenience and there is also a danger that should the insulin level be incorrect your pet could die.

It makes sense then that your dog should only eat what is good for it and in quantities that won’t result in it developing health problems later in life.

Pressure on Joints

In addition, obesity can put pressure on your dogs joints and back. This is particularly problematic for breeds with a long spine such as Dashchunds.

Pressure on the Heart

Obesity can increase blood pressure, risking early onset of heart disease in your dog. There are many other health issues that can result from obesity including difficulty breathing. These can have serious health consequences.

Top Tips for preventing Obesity in your Dog

  • Regular Exercise
  • Measure out food portions accordingly
  • Feed twice a day
  • Avoid treating from the table
  • Use a slow feeder that makes your dog work for its food such as the Kibble Nibble
  • When training with treats adjust food portions to account for this
  • Visit your vet for annual checkups and weight-ins

What are the Correct Food Quantities for your Dog

Working dogs such as working Patterdale terriers will need more food for the energy that they will expend in the course of the day but a dog that lays around the house all day and doesn’t get any exercise will not need to eat the same portions of food.

You should weigh your dog on a regular basis and see whether it is gaining or losing weight and adjust the amount of food it is eating accordingly. A good guideline is to feed your dog roughly 2.5% of its body weight, but of course this will vary slightly with breed and exercise, so always consult your vet.

Recommendations for Good Dog Food

If you are looking for recommendations of good dog food brands, here are some of the foods we have used for our dogs and found to be great…

You might also like to read about Can Patterdale Terriers Swim? and Diabetic Dog Food

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