It is no secret that America has a few problems with weight management, but what you might not know is that our dietary problems don’t end with us — approximately 1 in 5 dogs in the United States are overweight.* While pet parents should take care to regulate the diet of — and provide ample exercise for — any breed of dog, there are a few breeds that are especially prone to packing on pounds.
These are the dogs that might need extra care (either dietary or exercise-related) to stay in a healthy weight range.
A small dog with big personality, this wiener dog loves attention and a good spirited game of catch, but is also perfectly content sitting on a lap and getting pampered — and therein lies the problem. Without routine exercise you are going to end up with an overstuffed sausage on your hands.
A small but brave breed, the Scottish Terrier is known to be a wonderful watchdog, and makes for a great companion. Typically lively, if they are not given an opportunity to burn through their energy, they might start to get a bit doughy. Also, overfeeding can catch up to this breed quickly, so portion control is especially important.
This fantastic family pet is known for their bright, colorful personality, which sometimes errs on the side of mischief — especially where food is concerned. Almost perpetually hungry, the Beagle is notorious for being on a “see food diet” (if they see food, they eat it). Because of this, they are at an increased risk for becoming overweight. However, with ample exercise and a carefully monitored diet, your Beagle can maintain a healthy weight.
The Cocker makes for a superb companion for a family, being both playful and friendly with children. They are notoriously cute, making it tough to resist their pleas for more food or for table scraps. But beware — although these dogs can eat a lot, without the proper exercise and a good diet, they are bound to get pudgy.
A big-boned breed, the Basset Hound can be in danger of becoming overweight simply because of their tendency toward inactivity. While they are happy to get out in the yard and follow a scent, they are just as happy laying by the fire and taking a nap. They are not the kind of breed that will tell you they need a run, so to manage your Basset’s weight, you might have to give them a little push.
Quite possibly America’s favorite breed, the Labrador is a fun-loving, family friendly breed. Ideally this breed should be getting an hour or two of exercise every day. As such, many of the Labradors in America are not receiving the proper amount of exercise, leading to weight problems. Also, because they are a big dog, people tend to overfeed them. Just because they whine for more food, doesn’t mean they need it!