- A whopping 3.8 million dogs in the UK are overweight with nearly a quarter of owners saying they've had to try a special 'doggy diet'. If you're worried about your pooch's waistline, have a look at the list below, to see whether it might have a poor diet.
Five ways to tell if your dog isn't eating well, from Dr Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com
You find it difficult to feel your dog’s ribs when running your hands over their chest. From the side, their tummy hangs down toward the floor at the same level as their chest instead of ‘tucking up’ towards their groin and hips. From above, their tummy just in front of their hips is the same or a similar width to their chest rather than being tucked in to form a visible waist.
2. Dental hygiene
Your dog has bad breath and / or inflamed gums. They have difficulty chewing or favour chewing on one side of their mouth. Their teeth are stained yellow or brown, or have a hard crust of brown tartar visible.
3. Dull coat, dermatitis, dandruff
When running your hand through your dog’s coat you notice patches of red, moist, dry, flaky or inflamed skin; similarly, any strange raised lumps, fleshy growths or discolouration should be checked by a vet. If your dog’s coat is dull or skin is dry, tailored diets with extra oils and other supplements are often very effective ways to increase coat shine and skin health.
Your dog refuses to eat or has less of an appetite than usual. They are sleeping more often than normal. They are out of breath, panting, stopping more frequently or refusing to carry on whilst out on walks. Your dog is excessively thirsty or may not want to play their favourite games or come to greet you as usual. They may appear confused, disorientated or even have a toileting accident indoors.
5. Digestive problems
Your dog has a loss of appetite or reduced appetite. They are experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea, or you are hearing gurgling or rumbling tummy sounds. Your dog may flinch when their tummy is touched, or may be reluctant to move around. An altered position can also indicate stomach pain. The praying position for example is seen with pancreatitis; front legs stretched out, head down and back end arched up. Increased gas and flatulence or a bloated abdomen, or blood or mucus in stools.
- For advice about the correct diet to feed your dog, talk to your vet.
- For more pet information and advice, pick up the latest copy of Yours magazine