Around 1 in 4 dogs in the United States are overweight. Boston Terriers are also at risk for obesity.
A Boston that is overweight may be more prone to health problems, so it is important to keep your Boston Terrier at an ideal weight.
This article will review how to tell if your Boston is overweight and what to do if you think your Boston is overweight.
7 Signs Your Boston Terrier Is Overweight
There are several signs that may indicate that your Boston is overweight. These signs range from seeing the numbers on the scale grow to not being able to feel your dog’s ribs.
If you are unsure if your Boson is overweight, you can always ask your veterinarian to do a weight assessment of your pet.
These are 7 of the most common signs that your Boston Terrier is overweight.
1. You Can’t Feel Your Boston’s Ribs.
If you move your hands along the side of your Boston Terrier. You should be able to feel your Boston’s ribs without having to push too hard.
If you cannot feel your Boston’s ribs at all, then your Boston is probably overweight.
2. You Can’t See Your Boston’s Waist.
Boston Terriers should have a little bit of a waist. When you look at your Boston from above, they should get skinnier in the area just in front of the hind legs.
If you have an overweight Boston Terrier, you might not be able to see their waist. They might look more barrel-shaped.
3. Your Boston Terrier Has Gained A Lot Of Weight.
The numbers on the scale don’t lie. If you notice that your Boston has had a lot of unintentional weight gain, this might be a sign that your dog is overweight.
You can ask your veterinarian what your Boston’s ideal weight should be. If your Boston weighs more than that, then they are overweight.
4. Your Boston Has A Big Belly.
If you look at your Boston from the side, you should see that your Boston gets skinnier just in front of the hind legs. This is called an abdominal tuck.
If your Boston’s belly hangs really low and you don’t see an abdominal tuck, then your Boston is probably overweight.
Worried about diabetes? Check out this article, 10 Signs Your Boston Terrier Might Have Diabetes.
5. Your Boston Tires Easily During Exercise.
If you notice that your Boston is tiring easily when they exercise, this could be a sign of obesity.
When a Boston is overweight, they get tired more quickly because they are carrying around extra pounds.
You may notice that your Boston can’t go for as long of a walk as they used to.
6. Your Boston Has Gotten Lazier.
An overweight Boston Terrier will often be lazier. They may not be as hyper or energetic as they were when they were an ideal weight.
You may notice that your Boston is more reluctant to play, and they may sleep more frequently.
7. Your Boston Is Reluctant To Go Upstairs.
Another sign of obesity is a reluctance to go up the stairs. A few extra pounds can make it more challenging to go up and down the stairs.
Also, your Boston may have a harder time jumping in and out of the car or getting on the furniture.
Health Risks For Overweight Boston Terriers
If your Boston is overweight, they may be more prone to developing several adverse health conditions. These conditions include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Read this article to learn about – 3 Common Causes Of Death In Boston Terrier.
What Should You Do If Your Boston Terrier Is Overweight?
If you have an overweight Boston Terrier, you should take steps to try and get your Boston to an ideal weight.
There are several steps that you can take to help your Boston Terrier lose weight. Here are the six steps you should follow.
Step 1- Consult With Your Veterinarian
The first step in developing a weight loss plan for your Boston Terrier is to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to determine your Boston’s body condition score and ideal weight.
They can develop an individualized weight loss plan for you. Many times this will consist of measuring out the amount of food for each meal and slightly decreasing the amount of food you are giving your pet.
Your veterinarian will determine how many calories per day your dog should be eating to promote weight loss.
This process requires weekly monitoring of your dog’s weight to ensure that they are losing weight at a safe and healthy rate.
Step 2- Exercise
Gradually increasing the amount and duration of exercise can help your Boston Terrier lose weight. Do not exercise your Boston when it is hot outside because this could cause heatstroke.
Recommendations for exercise:
- Walk your dog regularly
- Arrange for someone to exercise your pet when you can’t
- Play fetch
- Start agility training with your Boston
Need some more exercise ideas? Check out these articles to get some ideas:
Step 3- Decrease High-Calorie Snacks
Some treats are extremely high in calories. Be aware of how many treats you are feeding your Boston and try to limit the treats to only a few a day. Check the back of the treat bag to see how many calories are in each treat.
Instead of feeding several high-calorie treats throughout the day, you can give a few low-calorie treats:
- Baby carrots
- Small apple piece
- Small training treats
- Dry dog food kibble can be given as a treat
Step 4- Avoid Feeding Table Scraps
Human food can also have high calories so avoid feeding any table scraps or high-fat human foods. Potato chips, cheese, and french fries all have high-calorie counts.
The calories can add up quickly if you are frequently feeding your dog table scraps.
Step 5- If Needed, Start A Prescription Weight Loss Diet
If you have followed the instructions above and your Boston is still having a hard time losing weight, it might be time to consider starting a prescription weight loss diet.
These diets are specially formulated to assist in weight loss. Some of my favorite veterinary prescription weight loss diets include:
- Hill’s Metabolic Diet
- Purina ProPlan OM Overweight Management
- Royal Canin Satiety Support Weight Management
If you are interested in starting your pet on a prescription weight loss diet, I recommend consulting with your veterinarian.
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Step 6- Get Everyone In Your Family On Board
Weight loss plans are most effective if everyone in the family is on board with the plan.
If there is one person in your family that gives your dog lots of snacks, then likely the weight loss plan will be ineffective.
It is important for everyone in the family to commit to the weight loss plan and work together to help your Boston lose weight.
Boston Terriers can easily become overweight if they are fed too much or if they don’t get enough exercise.
If your Boston Terrier is overweight, you will not be able to easily see their waist or feel their ribs. Also, overweight Bostons tire easily when exercising and may not have the same energy as they did when they were an ideal weight.
Being overweight can predispose Bostons to health problems including diabetes and cancer. I recommend consulting with your veterinarian to develop an individualized weight loss plan for your overweight Boston Terrier so you can ensure that your Boston stays happy and healthy.
Burns, K. (2018). Taking on obesity as a disease. AVMA.
Williams, K. Obesity in Dogs. VCA Hospitals.