Goldendoodles are among some of the most well-loved and adorable dogs out there. They come in a range of beautiful golden shades and have an ideal temperament to be wonderful pets for many people. While Goldendoodles are great dogs, they are subject to becoming overweight when their diet and lifestyle are not managed, but how can you tell if your Goldendoodle is overweight?
A Goldendoodle is overweight if they have sagging around their abdomen, fat spots around their hips and legs, and if they exhibit tired or breathless behaviors. Another key indicator of an overweight Goldendoodle is whether their ribs and spine can be felt with little to no pressure applied.
If your Goldendoodle has one or more of these indicators, they might be overweight and their diet and lifestyle should change. Keep reading to learn more ways to tell if your dog is overweight, as well as ways to help them lose excess weight.
Indicators of an Overweight Goldendoodle
We have talked about some of the major indicators that can help you figure out if your Goldendoodle is overweight, but those are not the only indicators. There are many indicators that you should be aware of so you can properly monitor your dog’s weight.
The first major indicator of an overweight Goldendoodle is spots of fat in specific areas of the dog’s body. Patches or areas of fat can gather on the hips, base of the tail, inner legs, neck, and abdomen.
You can identify these pockets of fat during petting sessions and when your dog is standing or walking. With the excess fat on their legs or abdomen, an overweight Goldendoodle might begin to waddle and pant while walking.
You can get a good idea of your Goldendoodle’s weight by looking at their body shape as well. From above, if you are able to see a relatively defined waist close to their rear, then they are a healthy weight. If your dog is more of a round, oval shape, then they are overweight.
From the side, their stomach should tuck upwards towards their hips and it should not be aligned with their chest. If their stomach is aligned with their waist, they are overweight.
While bones are not an issue when a Goldendoodle gains weight, they can really help you gauge how much fat your dog has put on. Goldendoodles typically have a lot of fur, and it can be difficult to see their ribs and spine like other dogs.
Because of this, you should gently feel along their sides and back and see if you can feel their ribs and spine. If you can feel them with a small amount of pressure, they are healthy. If you have to apply pressure to be able to feel those bones, then your dog is likely overweight. (Source)
There are many physical indicators that a Goldendoodle is overweight, but there are also behavioral indicators that you should watch out for. It is mentioned above how a dog that waddles is overweight, but if they also tend to be out of breath, uninterested in getting up from the couch or floor, and lag behind on walks when they are overweight.
A healthy dog will be excited to get up and get going, and they will not pant excessively or scarf down their food and then resign themselves to the floor.
Diseases Commonly Found in Overweight Goldendoodles
While a chubby or fat dog is often endearing and cute, there are a number of negative health effects that an overweight dog is subject to that will shorten its lifespan and reduce its quality of life. Some of the diseases or illnesses commonly found in overweight Goldendoodles include:
- Skin diseases
- Various respiratory diseases
- Stiff joints
- Heart problems
- Difficulty moving
While all of these diseases and problems seem quite difficult for a dog to deal with, and even more difficult for an owner to take care of, they are real problems that an overweight Goldendoodle can suffer from.
No matter how cute a fat dog might be, you should always try to keep your pet at a healthy weight so they can enjoy a long, healthy life.
How to Help Your Goldendoodle Lose Weight
Now that we know all about how to tell if your Goldendoodle is overweight or not, we can begin to solve the problem of an overweight dog. There are many changes that you can make in your dog’s life to get their weight under control, and we will go over the most notable ones.
Measure and Schedule Food
The very first major change that you should make in your dog’s lifestyle is giving them scheduled and consistent food proportions. So many dog owners allow their pets to eat whenever they feel like they are hungry, or they do not measure the amount of food that their dog is getting.
By feeding your dog the proper amount of food on a strict schedule, they will begin to lose fat quite quickly. (Source)
If you are trying to make your dog lose weight, slowly reduce the amount of food that they get as advised by a veterinarian.
Minimize Treats and Human Food
A huge contributor to an overweight Goldendoodle is the extra calories they consume from treats and table scraps.
While it is fun to see your dog excited at the prospect of some leftover chicken or a tasty treat, you should not be giving them treats excessively. A fat dog does not need the extra calories, and the fattiness of human food can be detrimental to their weight.
Finally, you need to get your dog on an exercise schedule. One great way to do this is to encourage your dog to go on 10-15 minute walks.
Over time, gradually increase the amount of time and speed of walking until they are comfortable walking at a brisk pace for an hour or two. Another great exercise for an obese dog is swimming.
Goldendoodles usually love to swim and this exercise will help them burn off fat without putting stress on their joints.