Dogs are the most faithful creatures on the planet, and they’re never more loyal than when you have snacks in your hand. Millennia of evolution have also taught them to be masters of swindling you out of your hard-earned food, as no human alive can resist the allure of well-timed puppy dog eyes.
While we would never tell you to refuse to give your dog snacks, the fact is that giving your pooch too much good stuff could lead to them becoming obese.
Any breed can become overweight if fed a poor diet, but some are more prone to obesity than others. This list will explore the breeds most likely to become pudgy, so if you own one of them, you need to be extra careful about their diet.
Dachshunds are often affectionately called “weenie dogs” because of their long torsos, but it’s extremely important that you keep them from resembling kielbasas. These dogs love to sit in your lap and sample whatever you’re eating, but you’ll need to learn how to tell them no if you want to extend their lifespan.
Given their small stature, it doesn’t take much to plump them up. Also, their long bodies are prone to joint and disc issues in the best of times, so they don’t need any extra weight putting strain on their spines.
2. English Bulldogs
One of the issues of English Bulldogs is that they look adorable when they’re fat, so many owners think that it’s cute to feed them anything they want. However, the breed is prone to a variety of health issues as it is, and being obese will only serve to exacerbate them.
What’s worse, these dogs can’t exercise very long or hard. Their short noses make it difficult for them to breathe or regulate their temperature, so instead of running off the excess weight, you’ll have to rely on a healthy diet to do the work for you.
You might be surprised to see Boxers on this list, given the fact that these dogs never seem to stop bouncing off the walls. However, the breed is prone to a condition called “hyperthyroidism,” which can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
In addition to feeding them a healthy diet, you should monitor them for any unexplained weight gain. If you notice your Boxer starting to get a little chubby, take them to the vet instead of just cutting their rations.
4. Golden Retrievers
This is another surprising entry on this list, given how athletic this breed is. As it turns out, their placement here is due to two things: their popularity and the sedentary lifestyles of their owners.
Many people adopt these dogs without thinking about how much exercise they’ll need, and instead of providing them with plenty of physical stimulation, they teach the dogs to become lazy and food-motivated. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much effort to remind a Golden Retriever that they were born to run and jump.
Like Boxers, Rottweilers are prone to hyperthyroidism, so keep an eye out for mysterious weight gain. Many Rotties can get pudgy without any help from a disease, though, so be careful about overfeeding them.
Many people think that obesity isn’t as serious in large-breed dogs, but big pups like Rottweilers are already prone to issues like hip dysplasia. Adding a few extra pounds on top of their already-sizable frames will only cause them pain and suffering down the road.
Many Chihuahuas are kept as lap dogs, so they don’t get much physical activity at all. What’s worse, their close physical proximity to the dinner table makes them a prime target for all manner of unhealthy scraps.
These tiny dogs don’t need many calories per day at all, so it doesn’t take much to make them fat. You need to be strict about how much you feed them, even if it means eating your meal right in front of them and not sharing.
7. Scottish Terriers
These dogs have long hair that can cover their bodies, making it difficult to judge just how rotund they’ve become. You’ll need to stay up to date on their weight, though, as these pups tend to pack on the pounds as they get older.
If you keep them active and strictly monitor how much food you give them, though, there’s no reason that your Scotty can’t remain fit and trim well into their golden years.
Corgis tend to look plump even on their best days, but that’s no reason to let their weight get out of hand. Like Dachshunds, these dogs have long torsos that make them prone to spinal issues, so it’s important not to add too much heft to their frame.
The problem with most Corgis is that they take their cues from their owners. If you don’t get up and exercise, your Corgi won’t either. Then again, that means you can use your dog’s health as an incentive to get both of you in the best shape of your lives.
9. English Mastiffs
English Mastiffs are huge dogs — really huge. They can easily tip the scale at 150 pounds, and that’s a healthy weight. As a result, many Mastiff owners pay no attention to how much they feed their dogs, figuring that the giant pup can use whatever calories you can spare.
That often leads to them becoming obese, though. Also, when they’re overfed, Mastiffs can become bloated and gassy, which can lead to digestive issues later in life. If keeping your dog healthy isn’t enough reason to put them on a diet, then cutting down on their noxious emissions should be.
Like English Bulldogs, Pugs can be extremely cute when they’re fat. Like English Bulldogs, Pugs don’t breathe well even when they’re skinny, and overfeeding them will only make it harder for them to get the oxygen they need. They also can’t burn off calories as easily as some other breeds.
They’re round at the best of times, so bulking them up can be tempting. You should resist that urge, though, as it will only make their already-temperamental health worse.
11. Basset Hounds
Many dogs will regulate their own food intake, so you can just leave their food bowls out, knowing that they’ll stop eating when they’re full. Bassett Hounds are not one of those breeds.
These mutts will eat any food they see, and they won’t stop until it’s all gone. They’re also not exactly fitness fanatics, so it doesn’t take much for them to become chubby. Worse, they become even more lethargic the fatter they get, creating a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.
12. Labrador Retrievers
Labradors suffer from the same problem that Golden Retrievers do: Namely, they’re extremely popular with owners that don’t like to exercise them. As a result, many of the members of this breed are obese despite normally being quite active and athletic.
It shouldn’t take much to get your Labrador back into shape if they’ve become a little rounder recently — just limit their calories and let them play fetch for hours. They’ll definitely thank you for it.
Beagles are like Bassett Hounds in that they’ll never turn down a meal, so you have to be careful not to leave food out for them. These dogs are usually fairly active, but if they don’t get enough exercise, they can quickly start to pack on the pounds.
These dogs are devoted scavengers, so they may get into your trash if you’re not careful. You need to be diligent about keeping any potential food sources out of their reach, as being overweight increases their risk of diseases like hip dysplasia and even cancer.
These massive mutts are big even when perfectly healthy, but unfortunately, it’s rare to find a non-obese Newfoundland. They have massive appetites, so you may overfeed them in a well-meaning but misguided attempt to stave off their hunger.
It also doesn’t help that these dogs will happily become couch potatoes if you let them. They have great endurance, though, so make sure you put them through their paces rather than let them sit and snack all day long.
15. Bichon Frise
These little fluffballs are notoriously prone to obesity, and in fact, it’s the number-one disease affecting the breed. Part of the problem is the fact that they need extremely specific diets tailored to their nutritional needs, and that means cutting out table scraps and fatty treats.
You also need to realize that a Bichon Frise doesn’t need many calories to be healthy and happy. In fact, they may only need 650 calories per day, so you can imagine how easy it is to double that number if you’re feeding them off the table.
Since they’re such small dogs, many owners don’t realize just how much exercise Yorkies need. These diminutive pooches require as much as 2 hours of vigorous physical stimulation per day, but very few Yorkie owners provide anywhere near that amount.
A sedentary, pampered lifestyle combined with a poor diet will cause a Yorkie to balloon in no time at all. If you notice that it’s getting harder to pick up your Yorkie, then it’s time to cut back on their rations and make an effort to give them their daily 2-hour workout.
17. German Shepherds
There are few dogs as devoted to their jobs as German Shepherds, but many people who only keep them as pets also relieve them of their duties. Without a perimeter to patrol or bad guys to chase down, these dogs may soon develop a bit of a belly.
A big part of the problem with German Shepherds is they were bred to function on little food, as daily meals aren’t guaranteed during wartime. As a result, they have slower metabolisms than some other breeds, so they can store fat more readily.
18. Cocker Spaniels
These little dogs can become big little dogs in no time if you’re not careful. Cocker Spaniels are especially prone to gaining weight after becoming spayed or neutered, so watch them carefully after their big operation (but definitely still get them fixed).
They also slow down quite a bit as they age, so you should reduce their food intake accordingly. They don’t need to be fed like an active dog if all they’re doing is sitting on the couch watching Netflix.
19. Shih Tzus
Shih Tzus are prim and proper dogs, but that won’t stop them from scarfing down any food that comes across their path. What it will stop them from doing, however, is going outside and burning off all the calories they consume.
It’s hard to convince these dogs to work out enough to stay trim, so you’ll have to watch their diet like a hawk. You must never give in to their begging because once they realize that you have a soft heart, they’ll see you as a mark and work you over incessantly until you give in again.
Unless you own a large farm with a flock of sheep that need tending, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to give a Collie all the exercise they crave. These dogs are truly tireless, but if they don’t get all the stimulation they need, they won’t reduce their food intake to match.
That can cause your Collie to quickly pack on the pounds, and it doesn’t take much for a little chubbiness to turn into worrisome obesity with these medium-sized dogs. Cut back on their portion sizes accordingly, but you may also need to bite the bullet and try your best to give them at least some of the exercise they need.
A Fat Dog Is an Unhappy Dog
It’s important to remember that while your dog may happily snack on anything that you decide to give them, they don’t actually want to be overweight. Dogs are at their happiest when they’re at a healthy weight, so take your dog’s extra pounds seriously.
While obesity is a huge problem for any breed, it’s especially troublesome for the dogs on this list. They’re still great pets, of course, but you’ll have to find a way to express your love for them that doesn’t involve sharing a bacon cheeseburger.
You may also like:
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low-Fat Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons
- 10 Best Diet Dog Foods for Weight Loss – Reviews & Top Picks
Featured Image Credit: Barbara Danázs from Pixabay
- 1. Dachshunds
- 2. English Bulldogs
- 3. Boxers
- 4. Golden Retrievers
- 5. Rottweilers
- 6. Chihuahuas
- 7. Scottish Terriers
- 8. Corgis
- 9. English Mastiffs
- 10. Pugs
- 11. Basset Hounds
- 12. Labrador Retrievers
- 13. Beagles
- 14. Newfoundlands
- 15. Bichon Frise
- 16. Yorkies
- 17. German Shepherds
- 18. Cocker Spaniels
- 19. Shih Tzus
- 20. Collies
- A Fat Dog Is an Unhappy Dog