10 Dog Breeds Prone To Obesity

Underlying conditions behind your dog's weight gain

Fat Pug

When we think about why our pets pack a few extra pounds, the first thought that comes to mind is excess food and lack of exercise. Although there is irrefutable evidence that any dog that abundantly consumes foods rich in fats and sugars and does not exercise enough will become overweight, the nutritional requirement of each dog also depends on intrinsic factors.

The latter include genetics, age, and health conditions. Each dog has a different metabolism and therefore specific nutritional demands, which can be affected by hormonal imbalances. As an example, elderly animals as well as those that have been castrated are more likely to become overweight.

Obesity in dogs is manifested by the accumulation of fat mainly in the abdomen and chest area, which can be easily determined by looking at them.

However, adipose tissue is not always easy to observe since it can be in vital organs, such as the heart, preventing their proper functioning. An overweight dog not only has impaired movement, but is more prone to obesity-related illnesses.

10 Dog Breeds Prone To Obesity

Since genetics determine numerous canine characteristics, it is understandable that some breeds have a certain predisposition to obesity. In addition to differences in innate traits such as physical build, the lifestyle and type of activity for which a breed was created also make them more likely to carry extra weight.

dogs different breedsThe differentiation of dogs from wolves dates to more than 100 million years ago. However, basic breeding began when humans realized canids possessed a wide range of abilities and began an intentional selection of advantageous traits. Since then, desirable talents were reinforced in successive generations, giving origin to today’s breeds. How were different dog breeds created?

Based on their genetic characteristics and the type of work for which their were bred, there are two main types of dogs that are more likely to be overweight: hunting dogs and short-nosed dogs.

Hunting Dogs

Since they were designed to run long distances, it is expected that hunting dog breeds that become pets have problems related to weight gain. The energy expenditure of a daily walk is never sufficient when compared to the endurance necessary to spend a day chasing prey. Within this group we find:

1. Scottish Terrier

Scottish terrier in training

Image source: youtube

2. Beagle

3. Basset Hound

Basset Hound


 4. Dachshund (Sausage Dog)


5. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

6. Labrador Retriever

Four Different Colored Labrador Dogs


7. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel


Short-Nosed Dogs

Dogs with extremely short snouts, even if they differ significantly in size, coat and breed, have a common genetic trait: the brachycephalic skull. This characteristic, which is shared by breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs, leads to difficulty breathing and dissipating heat, causing respiratory disorders as well as low tolerance to humidity and high temperatures. This considerably limits their ability to exercise, thus making them more susceptible to weight gain and obesity. Amongst them we can find:

8. Pug

Fat Pug

9. Bulldog

Bulldog smiling with tongue out

10. Rottweiler


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Gaby is our Content Director and main Emma spoiler. She believes knowledge paves the path towards dreams, so she is always searching for cost- and time-effective ways to achieve learning goals. Passionate about new tools to acquire and convey knowledge, she used creative methods to make Science and Math fun for her children. With a B.Sc. and Marketing studies, she is currently involved in an educational online startup. Contact at cosmodoggyland@gmail.com

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