6 Dog breeds that can’t afford to gain weight

6 Dog breeds that can’t afford to gain weight

Health & Safety

As much as we love our dogs, if you let them overeat, or eat the wrong things, certain dog breeds are more prone to weight gain than others, purely by their genetic makeup and tendency to laziness!

Most dogs will eat anything, particularly if it is a tasty morsel or more from your own dinner plate. Treats can be another issue, even if you feel they deserve them. Here are some breeds that are not fussy and will eat almost everything, causing weight gain and consequently other health problems, such as respiration and joint difficulties.


These delightful, friendly canines certainly can be ‘piggy’ with food, and you have to be quite hard to refuse those big adoring eyes. They are also known for ‘stealing food’ behind your back, particularly if you leave the fridge door open! Whilst they do enjoy exercise, they can be equally as happy in front of the fire or lying with their head on your knees. With this breed, it is certainly all about the genes – as time has gone on, variations in genetics in Labradors have made this breed into a ‘scavenger’ or ‘food seeking dog’, as it was found that feeding copious numbers of treats, made them easier to train! Give them plenty of exercise and cut down on unnecessary foodstuffs. Given the chance, nothing will be off limits in terms of food, anything and everything is on a Labrador’s radar.

Health issues if overweight: Arthritis and hip dysplasia.

Golden Retrievers

Similar problems to Labradors, but Golden Retrievers tend to be bigger dogs. Keener to exercise, so give them as much time as you can to stem any weight gain. It is essential that you use good quality food for your retriever, and during older age, a satiate controlled diet would benefit.

Health issues if overweight: Arthritis, hip, thigh and elbow dysplasia. They are also prone to hypothyroidism which can cause further weight gain.


Because of the nature that these dogs are bred for, frequently some owners will build up their bulk deliberately, but they should not be fat**,** more muscular. Often used as security or guard dogs, and even police dogs, extra weight will cause muscular or skeletal problems. As these dogs are often encouraged to put weight on in their early years, health problems can happen at a young age. Police dogs are less likely to suffer, as they are exercised and trained daily. It is quite sad, as they were originally herding dogs, that had lots of exercise every day. Daily walks or runs are essential but keep them out of the heat and exercise them early or late in the day to avoid hot weather complaints or even sunstroke.

It is important that Rottweilerdogs are fed at regular times of the day and in controlled portions – ignore them if they ask for more.

Health issues if overweight: Osteoarthritis is the main concern.


A huge breed of dog originally used by fisherman, so in theory, they should want to bounce in and out of the water or cover difficult terrain. However, any opportunity to laze around will be gratefully accepted by them. These dogs need to be active, otherwise the pounds will just pile on. They are not the most agile or fastest of dogs, but long, energetic walks daily will help in preventing weight gain. Don’t be fooled into sharing what’s on your dinner plate or plying them with treats – they will simply love these extras.

Health issues if overweight: Joint problems as well as hip dysplasia. Can also have digestive problems. If you want your Newfie to live as long as possible, a controlled diet is essential.

We have covered some of the larger dogbreeds, but what about the little fellows? They also have their own health issues if obese.


These dogs can be thwart with health issues including respiratory problems. Consequently, they don’t enjoy exercise due to the difficulty they encounter with breathing through their scrunched-up noses. Put down a bowl of food, and it will be gone in seconds, such is the voracity of their appetites. Some owners make the mistake of thinking that the pug should be a ‘chubby and cuddly pet’, but this will merely add to their problems. Regular exercise is essential for the survival of your pet pug, who once again will happily sit on your lap all day.

Health issues if overweight: Pugs already have difficulty in breathing, so any extra weight will compound this. Their short muzzles make them prone to respiratory problems and consequently, potentially fatal heart problems.


Originally bred for hunting, a beagle is most happy to be out and around, sniffing around woods and open terrain. However, it is this immaculate sense of smell that will make them eat anything you put into their bowl at a fast rate of knots and still look for more. As these are very intelligent dogs, slow their eating down by using a puzzle bowl to stimulate them, or enclosing treats in a ‘kong style receptacle’ to prolong the experience and keep their brains working. Make sure they burn enough calories every day by long and interesting walks that also include off-lead periods to run as much as they desire.

Other breeds with issues

Small dog breeds such as the dachshund with short legs and long bodies will experience joint problems if they are overweight. Don’t push them too hard on the exercise front, remember they need a good number of steps when you only need one! A quick stroll around the street twice a day should be enough exercise, and certainly don’t allow them to lounge around on the sofa all day. As they have such a small frame, they can suffer from issues around the spinal area, joints and even discs. Always watch their diets and ensure they have healthy fats and protein as part of their daily regime.

You need to be aware of other diseases such as Cushings disease which both beagles and boxers are susceptible to. Each of the above-mentioned dogs are avid eaters, so controlling their diets is one step towards them living a long and happy life.

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