Why Is My Dog Fat?
6 Reasons for Weight Gain in Dogs

Our dogs love us unconditionally, not caring about how we look and what our weight is. We love our pets, too, and that’s why their weight problems shouldn’t be left unnoticed.

One fairly common question modern dog owners ask is “Why is my dog fat?” There are many different reasons for weight gain in dogs.

In this article, we will consider the major causes that lead to dog obesity and provide you with a batch of actionable tips on how to cope with this problem.

Weight Gain in Dogs - The Most Common Reasons

The cases of unexplained weight gain in dogs are quite rare. In the majority of situations, a dog’s obesity may be the consequence of the following scenarios:

#1 You are overfeeding your dog

This is the simplest and most common reason why a dog is gaining excess weight. Plus, many dogs, such as dachshunds, do not have a stop signal when it comes to food. They will eat as much as you give them, or as much as they can drag off the table.

#2 Your dog’s diet is unbalanced

Our dog must receive a nutritious diet containing high-quality meat, nutritious organs and vegetables. This balance allows your pet to get the required amount of both calories and nutrients. Lack or overabundance of any of these elements can lead to a dog becoming overweight.

#3 Your dog uses less energy than it needs to maintain a healthy weight

This is another widespread reason for what makes dogs fat. Modern life leaves little time for outdoor activities, both for dog owners and their pets to burn calories.

#4 Your dog has a genetic predisposition to being overweight

Just as people, dogs can be born with the fat gene. In this case, if you overfeed or don’t provide your pet with enough exercise, the dog will gain weight fast.

INTERESTING FACT! Approximately 60% of Golden Retrievers in America are overweight. The breed is especially skillful at begging for tidbits and treats and careless owners give in too easily with dire consequences for their pets.

#5 The dog is pregnant

Perhaps a rounded belly and the reduced activity of your fluffy friend are signs of the imminent appearance of the cutest puppies.

#6 The dog suffers from hormonal disorders

These hormonal disorders are, as a rule, the consequences of thyroid disease, which is difficult to diagnose in the early stages.

Why Dog Weight Gain Is a Symptom You Shouldn’t Ignore

Regardless of the causes of weight gain in dogs, being overweight is harmful and quite dangerous to your dog’s life. What do you think happens to your overweight dog each time you overfeed it, or turn a blind eye to its physical shape?

53% of adult dogs in
the US are obese or overweight.

When an animal is forced to live with extra weight, the stress on the heart increases. The level of cholesterol in the blood rises, and it leads to the formation of fatty blockages. Their formation leads to thrombosis, irreversible blockage of blood vessels, and ends up with the untimely death of the pet.

Blood pressure also rises and the dog may suffer from headaches. A dog’s joints also are forced to support more weight while the liver suffers, increasing the risk of pancreatitis. Ultimately, the pet’s immunity decreases.

And what is most dangerous, certain diseases caused by excess weight, such as diabetes and heart failure, are irreversible and incurable. Therefore, you have to take serious measures. First, you must determine a specific reason for what is making your dog fat, and secondly, you need to start changing your dog’s lifestyle and making it fitter.

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Below are some tips that will help your plump pet lose weight and become more vigorous:

#1 Define the real reason your dog is gaining weight

IMPORTANT!  Make sure that your dog has extra weight. For this, find out the perfect weight for the breed and next, find out the weight of your dog. If there is an up to 15% difference between these two figures, your dog is overweight. If there is more than 15%, your dog is obese.

Also, you may conduct a rib test. The essence of the testing is that the ribs of your dog shouldn't be clearly visible but you should easily feel them under the dog's coat and skin.

After you are done with the tests, the most appropriate strategy is to go to the veterinarian, fully examine the dog’s clinical parameters, tell the specialist about your pet’s lifestyle and diet, and get competent advice.

If the animal does not suffer from serious problems, then changing the lifestyle will be enough to help the dog lose weight.

#2 Revise your dog’s diet and portion size

In most cases, sudden weight gain in dogs isn’t that sudden but is the result of an inappropriate diet. You may offer your dog a lot of unhealthy human food off the table. Start by stopping this practice right now! It’s a harmful and potentially dangerous habit.

#3 Introduce proper nutrition

Today, there are plenty of options on dog’s food market. You can choose between dry and wet food, or alternate between them. However, you still should be careful with such ready-made solutions since they may contain GMOs, fillers, corn, sugar, artificial flavors and preservatives.

However, to help your dog lose weight, get started with feeding your furry friend raw foods, since this is a much healthier alternative compared with all-in-one feeding solutions or the meals you prepare on your own. For example, consider ZENOO 3 month weigh-loss plan, since they create finely balanced meal recipes for dogs, taking into account the specifics of each breed.

#4 Make your dog have a more active lifestyle

This can be difficult with a modern life rhythm, but there are alternatives. For example, all big cities have daycare centers for dogs. There, pets receive a balanced diet, spend a lot of time playing outdoors and socialize through communication with other dogs.

#5 Use a dog fitness tracker app

This is a mobile application that easily integrates with a smart collar and allows you to track your dog’s activity and calories burned. More advanced digital solutions allow you to track other vital parameters of your pet.


Despite numerous causes of weight gain in dogs and their negative consequences, this problem is solvable. All you need to do is be attentive to your pet’s diet and activity. Even if a chubby dog seems very cute to you, its cute appearance is not worth the health problems that may arise in the future. Physical activity and proper nutrition are the keys to a healthy weight for both dogs and their owners.

“Like many labradors, Archie was overweight. We forgot all about that since we switched to ZENOO weight loss plan. Theres no better feeling then seeing your dog happy & healthy”


- Archie's owner Monica
Nevada, California

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