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Every puppy has adorable curves, but would you be able to tell if your puppy was overweight?
Obesity is not something we normally think about when we see a puppy, after all, it’s called ‘puppy fat’ for a reason.
But, unfortunately, overfeeding is a well-meaning reality with a lot of pet owners. Being able to tell the difference between puppy rolls and an overweight puppy can be the difference between a healthy, active adult dog and a dog with medical issues.
Puppies develop rapidly in the first year of life, including their vital organs, muscles, and bones. Accidentally overfeeding your puppy can cause abnormal bone growth. For example, large-breed dogs being fed higher amounts of calcium has been linked to painful skeletal issues later in life.
Overfeeding your puppy can lead to medical conditions such as the following:
- Increased level of fat cells, causing adult obesity
- Rapid bone growth
- Long-term development issues
- Abdominal pain
- Dog bloat
- Shorter life span
A feeding schedule can make sure your puppy is being given the correct amount of nutrients.
When you go by the proper guidelines and keep to a daily routine, adding up the calories will be a lot less work.
By feeding your puppy the same amount at the same time each day, you will be able to clearly measure your puppy’s food intake.
For an example of a proper feeding schedule, read our article on ‘How to Create the Perfect Puppy Feeding Schedule.’
Three easy ways to tell if you’re overfeeding your puppy
- heavier than average according to breed and sex, take a good look at their daily calorie intake.
- Take note of your puppy’s bowel movements. Normal stool followed by soft stool in the evenings is a good indication of overfeeding.
- Check out your puppy’s body condition score. Being able to see the ribs slightly, with an hourglass shape, is ideal.
Click HERE for a body condition score chart to help you out:
You’ve checked out your puppy’s body condition score, you’ve inspected the poop, and you’ve been charting their growth – your puppy is overweight. Now what?
Don’t panic, it’s not too late to change your puppy’s fate!
- Maybe you’re not overfeeding your puppy at meal time, but did you remember to factor in their treats? Lots of dog treats are full of unnecessary fats and sugars. Check your pet store for healthy alternatives, or give your puppy appropriate fresh fruits and veggies for snacks!
- Up your puppy’s play and exercise. An extra twenty minutes playing catch, walking around the block one more time, or bringing your pup for a short swim can reduce that chubby tummy.
- See your veterinarian so you can develop a good weight management program. A simple trip to the vet could save your puppy some major aches and pains in their adult life.
Your puppy deserves to grow up with a healthy ideal weight, and you’re the only one who can make the changes they need so checking if you’re overfeeding your puppy and make changes today!