With the ever rising problem of human obesity it may come as no surprise that many of our dogs are being classed as overweight too. Recent research from the RSPCA discovered that around 2 million of our canine friends in the UK are classed as overweight or obese causing detrimental effects on their health and lifestyle.

Just like people, dogs can quickly put on a few unwanted pounds, especially as they get older and exercise less. Though this may be a "normal" process overweight and obese dogs have been shown to be more inclined to develop a range of obesity-related health problems such as arthritis, respiratory problems, diabetes and behavioural issues. This can compromise their health and wellbeing so monitoring your dog's weight and body condition is crucially important.

If you think your dog may be overweight there are two quick tests you can use at home to determine whether your dog is carrying more weight than he should.

1.) Firstly you should be able to feel your canine’s ribs; try running your hands along your dog’s ribcage carefully and count the amount of ribs he has. If you can’t feel his ribs, he may be overweight!

2.) Secondly assess whether your dog has a waist. Your dog’s body should “tuck in” in front of his hip bones whereas if he has a straight line from his shoulders to his hips; he is probably overweight.

Remember you should always seek advice from your veterinarian if you think your dog is carrying too much weight!

So if your dog has a weighty problem draw up a healthy feed and exercise plan and stick to it until he loses the weight he needs to, not to mention banning those table scraps! Correct nutrition is a fundamental for keeping all dogs healthy, directly affecting your dog’s skin and coat, weight, energy level, and gastrointestinal function. Good quality dog food will ensure your dog is getting the nutrients he needs without calorie rich filler ingredients. Your dog may also benefit from a supplement being included in his diet so he can enjoy optimum nutrition without packing on the pounds!

Always make dietary changes slowly and carefully and consult an expert in you are unsure and remember regular exercise plays a big part in weight loss and should be involved in any weight loss programme.

A range of canine and equine supplements are available from Scientific Nutritional Products including Canine Joint Right, Glucosamine for Dogs. The ethos of the company is refreshing, manufacturing high specification dog supplements without compromise, selling directly to customers through their website www.horsesupplementsdirect.co.uk in order to make their products exceptional value for money.

  • For more information or to receive one-to-one nutritional advice specific to your dog contact our nutritional specialist Peter Fishpool on FREEPHONE 0800 032 7774 or call 01377 254900.