Top 10 Dog Breeds That Are Prone To Obesity

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Many owners feed their canine just the right amount and provide enough exercise, but their canine is still getting bigger. The reason for this is the dog's genetics. Discover which breeds are more prone to obesity and how you can prevent this terrifying health problem.

Obesity in dogs is a serious and long-lasting problem that can affect a dog’s life on several different levels. Obesity in dogs brings many difficulties just like obesity in humans does. Also, different dog breeds have different genetic makeups that directly affect their behaviors and appearances, so they also have different sensitivity to diseases and illnesses.

Some breeds have strong predilections for everything, even obesity. That being said, it’s important to note that you, as a pet owner, have a big role in your dog’s weight management. Proper nutrition and physical activity play a big role, next to genetic, when it comes to obesity. After all, every dog is different and some dogs gain weight faster than others, due to some different reasons.

The most common reason for obesity in dogs is the lack of psychical activity and metabolism changes. Here are teen breeds more likely than others to pack on the pounds, regardless of the time of the year. Read also what you can do to keep them at a healthy weight.

1. Pugs

Pug was originally bred to be a lapdog, meaning that it’s in their nature to be a real couch potato. They are outgoing and playful dogs, who are also real people-pleasers.

It comes as no surprise that they get plenty of affection and treats, which can always cause weight gain. Pugs were developed to have around and roly-poly type body. This also makes weight gain easier for them, especially when they are not given proper exercise and food portions.

It’s important to understand how this breed was designed if you want to have a healthy, happy, and long-living pug. Pugs are prone to respiratory problems. They are a brachycephalic breed, which means that they are born with a very short nose with tiny nasal openings, and extremely small airways leading to their lungs.

All together, this makes them unable to tolerate exercise. Add to that overfeeding and obesity is inevitable.

2. Bulldogs

Bulldogs have a thing about physical activities. They are just not too loving of them. Some people would say that they cannot tolerate exercise and that’s the main reason why it’s so easy for them to gain weight. Besides, many believe that Bulldogs are not fat, but that they simply have a certain look.

Interestingly, they also believe that Bulldogs are stronger, meaner, and even prettier when they are overweight. To get this desirable look, people tend to overfeed them. Next to Pugs, Bulldogs are part of the short-nosed or brachycephalic breeds.

Simply said, these dogs tend to have problems with upper airway issues causing an intolerance for exercise. With so many health problems already, obesity can only make things worse in Bulldogs. Therefore, the best thing that you can do for your Bulldog is to put him on a strict diet and provide as much exercise as possible.

3. Beagles

Yes, Beagles are on this list as well. Although they are extremely active and love spending time outdoor they are also prone to obesity. Beagles also have a strong appetite and slower metabolisms, and those two are the main reason why you can often see a Beagle with a few extra pounds.

Originally, Beagles were bred for rabbit hunting, so this breed must get enough exercise. While they were used mostly for hunting they needed a good appetite, because they would run long distances.

They needed food to give them energy. However, nowadays they are more of a family dog, and they are barely going on hunting trips, so they love to feel the time between walks with food. So, if your Beagle doesn’t get enough exercise and gets more treats than needs the chances are that he will gain weight. They should be given strict food portions, limited treats, and regular training.

4. Golden Retrievers

It’s hard to imagine this dog anyhow but walking happily next to his human, wagging his tail and looking and be fit. Simply said, it’s hard to imagine them different than being cute and fit. However, the truth is that because of their cuteness and willingness to please humans, they can’t stop getting treats on every step.

Practice showed that people just can’t say ‘no’ to Golden Retrievers eyes. So, any time when a person eats something, such as cheese, and this golden bundle of joy looks at him, he will pass the food to him. Owners just love to share their food with dogs. This is bad for three reasons manly:

  1. Your dog may end up eating something dangerous: there is a list of things that your dog shouldn’t be eating. We address human foods here. Some of the foods are dangerous, some are safe, and some can lead to a deadly outcome. If you choose to share your food with your canine make sure that you are well-educated on the topic and that you know what is safe for your dog to eat and what is a big no-no.
  2. Your dog will think that he is a pack leader: dogs will eat almost anything, especially if it’s not their food. They tend to beg for food every time you eat. At first it may seem like an adorable act, but in reality in much severe. If you let your dog get food every time, he will start expanding his temper on other things as well and eventually lead to believe that he is the pack leader in your family. This is something that you should avoid.
  3. Your dog may be obese: if you continue feeding your dog with often bites on a daily level you will see your dog in a different edition. Heavier one actually.

In addition, Golden Retrievers are prone to numerous allergies, so make sure that you are well educated on that field.

Bear in mind that Retrievers are strongly attached to their humans. Your Golden Retriever will be a reflection of your lifestyle. If you spending the majority of your time in front of your TV your Golden will do the same. On the other hand, if you move a lot and have an active lifestyle you will also have a fit and active Golden.

Good to know: It’s recommended to walk your Golden Retriever for at least for a 20-60 minute walk daily.

5. Dachshunds

This is a breed with a truly unique and memorable body shape. Their appearance is easy to recognize by unique body shape, with long sausage-like bodies and short legs. Because of their unique body Dachshunds should never be picked by arms, because they need constant spine support. So, if this breed gets only a few pounds extra it can be a massive problem for their spine.

Also, with obesity, several problems may occur. Extra pounds also put massive stress on their little legs. Dachshunds were bred to hunt rabbits, deer, foxes, and badgers, which required a high energy level for barking, running, and even digging. So, they used to spend a lot of energy daily and they had to eat to maintain that level. But, then they were working, running, and hunting.

So, it comes as no surprise that Dachshunds were designed to convert the food they ate into energy. Nowadays, we keep them like lapdogs and they have no work to do except to be family members. In short, now Dachshunds need a lot of exercises to compensate for their over-nutrition that they are getting nowadays with both dog and human foods.

6. Basset Hounds

Feeding your Basset Hound properly and in the right amount is crucial if you want to have a healthy and happy dog. This breed should eat more than once per day in small meals to avoid health problems.

Basset Hound is a short, heavy-boned dog with floppy and large ears that almost reach the ground. For a small breed, Basset Hound sure has some big health problems. The most common health issues in this breed are bloat and obesity. Therefore, it should be imperative to feed them properly. Divide their food in small meals instead of giving them a single large feeding each day.

They should also avoid exercise at least an hour after eating, because this may be linked to bloat, and it’s often fatal. Make sure that you monitor your dog’s weight regularly and he appears heavier to you, adjust the amount of the food. Also, you can check how much food your dog can eat here.

Basset Hounds weren’t bred for speed so you can’t expect them to burn calories by running for hours. After all, they have short legs and short legs in dogs are a sign that a dog is not a runner. So, if you are looking for a running partner should opt for dogs such as the Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

7. Scottish Terrier

There is always a huge challenge when you get a small-size dog. They usually have compact and well-build bodies that demand proper nutrition and well-organized training and exercise. However, there is one mutual challenge that lies ahead of every small-size dog owner, and that’s obesity.

That being said Scottish Terrier needs a proper routine of exercise and a well-balanced diet during each life stage. They are prone to obesity as they get older. It’s crucial to keep them healthy and avoid chronic health problems that can lead to obesity. In most cases, this is achieved by avoiding overfeeding and maintaining good levels of physical activity (appropriate for their age). This breed also carries an additional inherent risk factor, as they are prone to hyperthyroidism, which can be a root cause of chronic weight gain.

8. Corgi

This small dog ha such a vivid personality. Moreover, this breed is known for being such adorable little people pleasers. Actually, they love their human so much that they will follow them around all day long and even start taking their habits. So, if you are a Corgi owner who just sits around the house, your Corgi will follow you.

Corgis need to be stimulated as they are very dependent on humans, and tend to become anxious when and if they are left alone for long periods. This can lead to weight gain.

Corgis, just like all dogs, need to have a balance between a healthy diet and adequate exercise for their needs. They don’t ask for difficult and demanding exercises, but they need to stay active and to have a regular walk. After all, they are adventurous, playful, and outgoing, so they will enjoy their time outdoor.

If Corgi becomes overweight he may develop a strong range of diseases of kidneys, liver, and heart. The additional weight will burden their joints.

9. German Shepherd

german shepherd shedding

Surprisingly, German Shepherd is one of the most active breeds that can easily gain weight. Truth be told, they are prone to weight gain. As an active breed, German Shepherd demands a significant amount of exercise, proper training and demanding exercises. Add to that a positive mental stimulation, and you will have perfectly shaped German Shepherd.

So, just imagine what can happen with a German Shepherd who is lazy, or if he doesn’t get enough exercise. The best way for German Shepherd to stay active is to have regular long walks and additional exercise, next to a large yard. This breed is known for having problems with joints and especially back legs, so they must have plenty of brisk long walks.

10. Newfoundland

This is one of the largest breeds, and it comes as no surprise that they tend to weight up to 150 pounds. Of course, overweight Newfoundland weighs more than 150 pounds, and they are the norm rather than an exception.

It’s surprising how this gentle giant can easily become a victim of overfeeding. As a large breed, Newfoundland has a strong appetite and he will constantly ask for more food. Because of their mass, it’s easy for the weight to build up without the owner realizing that. Also, if the owner allows that they can demonstrate laziness full-time.

The Newfoundland was bred to be a working dog, so they are characterized by great endurance. Because of this, they benefit the most from longer walks and hikes.

Dog Breeds That Are Prone To Obesity – Key Takeaway

All in all, some breeds are more likely to gain weight than others, because veterinarians have seen obesity in every breed.

Obesity in dogs is a serious problem that can lead to heavy health problems. So, pet owners should avoid overfeeding their dogs and provide enough exercise. If you are not sure how to provide a balance between food and exercise, talk with your veterinarian.