Obesity is not just a problem for humans, as sadly, there is an increasing number of animals who are overweight. As a result, many owners, perhaps you are one, do not think of their cockapoo as being overweight. According to statistics, there are specific breeds that are more likely to be overweight, one of which is cocker spaniels and by default, this leads to cockapoos being overweight.
Studies have shown that, contrary to what the owners believe, feeling that their dogs are not overweight, vets consider around half of the dogs they see as being obese and overweight. Why is there such a huge difference in opinion?
It is likely that as many of the dogs that owners and their cockapoos meet are obese or overweight, you might not realise it, and if your dog is the same size, you will just think they are an average weight.
To ensure your dog is healthy, you need to figure out what a healthy weight would be. The healthy and ideal weight for dogs depends on their size, and as cockapoos come in various sizes, it can be hard to use a chart to show what weight your dog should be.
With that said, there are some simple and effective ways to tell whether your cockapoo is at an ideal and healthy weight.
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Looking down at your dog from above, can you see its body start to narrow down at its waist? Do they have what could be classed as an hourglass figure? If you cannot see a clear and defined waistline, your cockapoo is likely overweight.
Kneel or sit beside your dog, so you are at the same level as them and looking at the side of their body. Observe how they stand. Can you see their belly tucking up behind their ribcage? It is unlikely that your dog is unhealthily overweight if that is the case. On the other hand, if you only see a straight line, and your dog’s abdomen is as low as its ribcage, your cockapoo is probably overweight. If your cockapoo’s abdomen sits lower than its ribcage, they are probably obese.
When your cockapoo stands normally, can you see its ribcage? Take your fingers and slide them around their ribcage, pressing slightly as you do so. Can you identify easily the outline of each rib in their ribcage without pressing more than just a little? If this is the case, your dog is at an ideal and normal weight. However, if you struggle to feel the individual ribs without putting a lot of pressure on your dog, they are overweight.
Other signs that your cockapoo could be overweight along with these crude checks are heat intolerance, joint issues, diabetes and a reluctance to exercise or play. It is best to have your cockapoo checked over by your vet to be completely sure what is wrong with your dog and whether they are overweight or not.
If Your Cockapoo is Overweight, What Can you Do?
You can do several things if you think or know your cockapoo is overweight.
Take Your Cockapoo to The Vet’s
It is important before you follow any weight loss plan that you take your cockapoo to visit your vet for a full check-up and assessment. Your dog could suffer from various medical conditions that are the root cause or contributing to your dog’s weight gain. Liver and kidney disease can cause your cockapoo fluid retention or could develop an underactive thyroid. When these conditions have been diagnosed and treated as early as possible, it will better help your cockapoo’s health in general. When visiting your vet, ask about the recommended calorie requirements for your cockapoo and its diet.
Adjust Your Cockapoo’s Diet Carefully
Once you have considered potential medical issues that could contribute to your cockapoo’s obesity, it is time to look at his or her diet. It is healthy enough to reduce your dog’s food intake by as much as 20% without any issues. Over time, they will eventually adjust to these reduced portions. Another aspect of their diet you should consider is the ingredients in their food. You may find that switching to a different dog food with more nutritious ingredients is.
Cockapoos need a regular amount of exercise. Therefore, you must make sure you play regularly even when you aren’t taking him or her out for their daily walks. As well as helping your cockapoo’s weight issues, the increased exercise will help build friendships and relationships with them.
Avoid Junk Food (Particularly Your Own Junk Food)
Not only is human junk food unhealthy for dogs, but it can also be harmful if you give too much to your cockapoo. They have a relatively delicate digestive system that is not designed to cope with high salt, fat, and sugar levels. Therefore, treating regularly will contribute adversely to their weight gain. When you want to treat your cockapoo, offer him or her healthier options, such as vegetables and fruit like apples (minus the seeds) and carrots. You will even find that they enjoy those treats more.
Make Healthy Choices with Dog Treats
When you choose treats for your cockapoo, biscuits and cookies designed for pooches are great options, but you should also pick out meat-flavoured nylabones so they can chew on them. As they are calorie-free, they will have the stimulation and a fun treat.
Get All Your Family to Help
If you are trying to improve your cockapoo’s diet, increase his or her exercise, and reduce the amount of unhealthy food they consume, you need to work together as a family. There is no point in you avoiding giving your cockapoo unhealthy treats if your children or other family members are feeding him unhealthy treats. Ensure that everyone is on the same page and what are acceptable treats and not.
Although your dog being overweight is a serious concern, there are things you can do to stop it from being a problem. The first port of call should be the vet, addressing any underlying conditions and adjusting their diet and exercise routine to reverse their obesity.
Mike is the proud owner of a 7-year-old Cockapoo named Luna. He loves to share stories, tips and information about owning a Cockapoo. With over7 years of experience as an owner, Mike is passionate about helping others own and care for their dog.