Puppies tend to be a bit chubby, though most start to grow into their rolls and become dogs of healthy weights. However, in some cases puppies can become overweight, which can then lead to an overweight dog when it reaches adulthood. Obese dogs can suffer a number of serious health issues such as arthritis, diabetes or heart and breathing problems, according to Dogster.com.
Recognizing the problem early means the issue can be more easily resolved before major complications of obesity set in. The site reports that an overweight puppy may exhibit heavy breathing, a lack of endurance or desire to play, lethargy or trouble getting up or down stairs.
VCA Animal Hospitals reports there are simple ways owners can check to see if their pups are overweight. Puppies of desirable weight will have ribs which are easily felt when touched. When viewed from above, owners should be able to see a distinct waist or narrowing behind the ribs. While looking from the side, puppies abdomens should “tuck” or go in behind their rib cage. Overweight puppies will have layers of fat over their ribs, no visible waists or belly tucks.
Owners who suspect their puppy may be overweight should bring them to the veterinarian health clinic to be checked out. Here, the vet may suggest a specific “puppy-safe” weight-loss plan and increasing exercise to get your pup on the right track to a healthy weight.