Obesity is a growing problem for all pet dogs, but some breeds are more prone to excessive weight gain due to genetics, body type, or as a result of other common ailments. If your dog is one of the breeds on this list, take extra care to watch its weight.
Beagle owners should be careful about how much food they give their dogs. “Beagles are so enthusiastic about food that we tend to overfeed them,” says Pet Health 101. Aside from watching your Beagle’s caloric intake, be sure to give it enough exercise. A romp at the park or in a spacious yard area, along with regular leash-led walks, are great outdoor activities for Beagles. Along with weight gain, the breed is prone to developing lipomas, a kind of benign, fatty tumor. Consult your vet about any lumps you find on your Beagle to ensure they’re not something more serious.
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Bulldogs are greedy eaters, so if they are overfed, they tend to overeat. They also gain weight quickly and easily, so an overfed Bulldog is likely to gain weight. If you own a Bulldog, monitoring its food intake is very important. Once a Bulldog becomes overweight, it is difficult to lose the extra pounds. That’s because this breed is not built for strenuous exercise. Its short head and snout makes breathing difficult, so overheating and overexertion can occur even after only a moderate amount of exercise.
Boxers often develop hypothyroidism, a hormone deficiency that frequently leads to weight gain. Hyperthyroidism can develop at any time, so Boxer owners should have their dogs tested for it annually, according to Vetstreet. If your Boxer has gained weight, but you’ve ruled out an underlying disease, make sure it’s not being overfed and that it’s getting enough exercise. Daily physical and mental exercise is essential for the breed, which also loves to run. A long walk on leash or a good jog is enough to meet the dog’s exercise needs.
Dachshunds have a tendency toward laziness, according to Dog Breed Info Center, and this lack of activity often leads to overweight Dachshunds. That’s of particular concern for this breed, because its body shape already leaves it prone to spinal problems. Excess weight can easily increase the risk of spinal damage for an obese Dachshund. Dachshunds need daily exercise. Physical games in the yard or at the park, and daily leash walks keep the Dachshund in top shape. This breed especially relishes a good game of catch.
Besides being prone to weight gain, German Shepherds are also commonly affected by a number of diseases, especially elbow dysplasia and canine hip dysplasia. Weight gain can accelerate or exacerbate the condition, so German Shepherd owners have an added reason to keep an eye on their pet's weight. Whether overweight or not, the German Shepherd requires a very active lifestyle for its health and happiness. Frequent training or exercise sessions are essential for keeping its mind and body active.
Despite being relatively large dogs, Golden Retrievers tend to enjoy a calm, indoor lifestyle. It’s easy to picture a family Golden curled up in front of a fireplace, or at its owner’s feet in a comfy living room. But don’t let this idea lull you into a sedentary routine of non-exercise when it comes to your Golden Retriever. It is important for the breed to maintain a daily exercise routine or take part in active games, so that it can spend its natural energy and relax comfortably during "non-playing" hours.
The Labrador Retriever has a tendency to retain weight if it is sedentary too often, or if it is given too many treats. A healthy Labrador should have a trim, hourglass shape. While it may be tempting to offer your Lab treats in return for its unconditional affection, it is far better to reward it with quality playtime rather than food. Regular exercise is of the utmost importance. The Labrador is a high-energy dog that loves to play, and it should be given the opportunity to do so on a daily basis. When possible, take your Lab for a swim, as it is one of breed's favorite activities.
Newfoundlands are well known for being a giant breed, normally weighing up to an astonishing 150 pounds. But despite their size, it’s still easy to overfeed these dogs because of their voracious appetites. It may also be difficult to notice when your Newfie starts to tip the scales past the point of a healthy weight, because it’s so huge to begin with. That’s bad news, because these large dogs are already prone to various joint and structural problems, which excess weight can make worse. Keep your Newfie slim by not overfeeding it. Offer it adequate exercise, but not too much, lest you overtax the dog’s joints.
Like Bulldogs, Pugs are typically greedy eaters and, since they’re smaller than Bulldogs, it’s even easier to overfeed them. Also like Bulldogs, Pugs have short snouts, pinched nostrils and an elongated soft palate, which makes breathing a chore even for a Pug with a healthy weight. Because of this breathing difficulty, Pug owners often need to limit their dogs’ exercise in order to keep them safe and healthy. Obviously, this makes helping an overweight Pug lose weight very difficult. The best defense against Pug obesity is to prevent it from occurring in the first place, so monitor your Pug’s caloric intake closely.
Next: 10 Ways to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Rottweilers are a large breed that put on weight easily. Some people actively try to breed these dogs to be bigger, or at least on the high end of the breed's typical 75 to 110 pounds, because they want their pet to be intimidating. But that’s a bad idea, because like Boxers, Rottweilers are prone to hypothyroidism, and like German Shepherds, they often develop elbow and hip dysplasia. Fortunately, this breed will soak up any amount of physical activity you give it. According to Dog Breed Info Center, “You can't give these robust dogs too much work or exercise; they thrive on it.”