Guide Launched To Help Tackle Dog Obesity Problem

New Kennel Club resource set to tackle hefty problem of canine obesity

The UK's largest organisation dedicated to dog health and welfare, the Kennel Club, has launched a comprehensive guide to help dog owners tackle the nation's growing canine obesity problem.

Obesity in dogs is one of the fastest growing health concerns affecting man's best friend today, occurring in dogs of all ages and types. It is estimated that around 45 per cent of all dogs in the UK are overweight.[i]

To help combat this, the Kennel Club has launched a new information guide to assist owners of overweight dogs in managing their pet's weight. This new booklet is the latest addition to a collection of over 20 free information guides that give advice on a number of key issues facing dog owners today. The guide discusses how to tell if your dog is overweight, examines the causes of obesity and provides owners with tips and advice to help their dog lose weight.

Aimée Llewellyn-Zaidi, Head of Health and Research at the Kennel Club, said: "Letting a dog become overweight can affect their quality of life and shorten their life span dramatically. Even letting them become moderately overweight can influence their life expectancy. 

"Overweight dogs can suffer from the same health problems that overweight humans do, including heart disease, joint conditions and diabetes. The good news is that these very serious effects are avoidable and largely reversible, and by keeping dogs in shape, owners can help them live longer happier lives." 

Dogs, like humans, need a balanced diet and the right amount of exercise to stay fit and healthy, but finding that balance is not always simple. Signs that a dog is becoming overweight include:

  • A bigger and rounder face
  • A reluctance to go for walks
  • Difficulty walking
  • Easily getting out of breath
  • Frequently being tired or sleeping a lot
  • A thick fatty neck
  • Ribs cannot easily be felt if you run your hands along their side
  • They don't have an obvious waist (looking from above and the side, does their body go in between their ribs and hips?)

The Kennel Club already offers a number of resources to help raise awareness of the problems of canine obesity, including its Get Fit with Fido campaign, Breed Watch, Breeder Education seminars and Pet Health Information pages on the Kennel Club website.

The obesity information guide supports both owners who are struggling to manage their dog's weight and veterinary practices who wish to provide comprehensive information to those clients who need it the most. Veterinary practices that wish to keep their clients informed about the risks and management of canine obesity can direct owners towards the free online version, or can order small quantities of printed copies for free, or larger volumes at cost value plus postage and packaging.

Read our 'How to manage your dog's weight' information guide. Veterinary practices wishing to order paper copies can download an order form from the link above.