Ensuring your pooch is a healthy weight is an important part of being a pup parent. Regular trips to the vet and providing them with sufficient daily exercise help to keep them at the correct weight. But when dogs start to lose or pile on the pounds for no apparent reason, it can be quite distressing for owners.

If pups don’t maintain a healthy weight, it can lead to all kinds of health problems. Over 40% of dogs in Australia are overweight or obese which can hugely impact their quality of life. They can suffer from more heart-related issues, cancers, and joint problems. Similarly, underweight pups are more likely to have bone and muscle problems.

At The Dog Dazzlers, we care about all pups – not just the ones in our care. In this article, you’ll find some of the most common causes of fluctuations in your dog’s weight and how our doggie daycare in Melbourne can help regulate it.

 

What Is a Healthy Weight for Dogs?

The ideal weight for your dog depends on several factors, including:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Activity Level
  • Breed

Some dogs, particularly hounds, are often much thinner than big, muscular mountain breeds and they shouldn’t weigh the same. Talking to doggie experts can help you assess the perfect weight for your pooch and maintain it through good-quality nutrition and plenty of exercise.

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Factors That Can Influence Your Dog’s Weight

There are lots of reasons why your dog might be losing or gaining weight, and you might not be aware of some of them.

#1: Nutrition, Snacks and Portion Size

OK, so this might be an obvious one, but lots of dog owners aren’t always aware of what they’re feeding their dogs. For instance, how many treats do you give your pup for good behaviour or during a training session? It’s really easy to overfeed your doggo without even realising it. Just imagine a tablespoon of peanut butter has 91 calories in it – which is quite a lot for most dogs! It’s also really important to feed your dog the correct amount at mealtimes. Talk to your vet about how many cups you should be feeding your dog a day.

At The Dog Dazzlers, we’re all very aware of overfeeding pups and the importance of good, nutritious snacks. We stock a wide range of treats from The Paw Grocer, which are all highly nutritious and a great, occasional reward.

 

#2: Stress and Anxiety

It’s common for dogs to lose their appetite when they’re stressed and working out the cause of the stress can help to bring it back. Changes in their immediate environment, such as another dog, a new baby or building work can all cause anxiety in pups.

This is one of the main reasons we built specially designed pens for different dogs. We know that some dogs need a little more time to adapt or a space to relax in, whilst others are happy to spend the whole day socialising and playing with other furry friends. Our team are experts in doggie behaviour and can quickly recognize when a pup needs a little time out to reduce stress and anxiety.

 

#3: Exercise

Balancing your dog’s exercise needs is key to keeping them at a healthy weight. Some breeds, such as Border Collies, need lots of daily exercise, whereas others may be a little more reluctant to go for a run around. Providing stimulating exercise can help to keep dogs trim and engage their brains.

Puzzle games and interactive toys can get them moving and encourage them to play with other pups too. At The Dog Dazzlers, we understand the importance of mental stimulation, as well as physical exercise. We provide extra games and activities throughout the day to ensure dogs go home engaged and that they’re always learning something new.

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#4: Oral Health

This might not be an obvious one, but poor oral health can quickly lead to dogs losing weight. When they have painful gums or an infected tooth, the last thing your pooch will want to do is eat, which can lead to quick weight loss. Oral health must be a big part of your pup’s routine, and taking them for regular grooming sessions ensures an expert is keeping an eye on them and that issues can be identified early on.

 

#5: Age

When considering the ideal weight for dogs, age is a really important factor. As pups get older, their metabolism changes which can affect how they burn calories. Some pups may lose weight as they get older and some may put on the pounds because they’re exercising less than they used to. Vets and doggie experts will be able to advise on what’s a healthy weight for your dog based on their age.

 

#6: Underlying Health Issues

Whenever you notice a change in your dog’s weight, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up. Weight loss and gain can be a sign of health issues including cancers, infections, heart disease and hyperthyroidism.

 

A Healthy Weight for Dogs – Is There Such a Thing?

There absolutely is such a thing as a healthy weight for dogs, but all dogs are different and it’s important you work out what is ideal for your pup. Lots of mental and physical activity, combined with nutritious and regulated food can help to keep them fit and healthy. At The Dog Dazzlers, we really get to know the pups in our pack, meaning you’ve got extra eyes looking out for your dog’s weight. We’ll let you know if we’re worried about anything or have noticed something new so that your dog is as happy and healthy as possible!