It can be tricky to know what the ideal weight is for your dog, as it mainly depends on their breed (and after all, it’s hard to resist giving them all the treats in the world).

Some are meant to be slimmer than others, but there can be many reasons why your pet might be overweight, including medical conditions.

If you are worried about your dog’s health, there are some tips you should be aware of when it comes to preventing obesity.

Jackie Marshall, a qualified vet and technical advisor at leading veterinary nutraceuticals company VetPlus, said: “Pet obesity is a real issue in the UK.

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“Although it often comes from a place of love, feeding our furry friends lots of treats and tasty food can very easily make them an unhealthy weight. 

“Whilst overindulging our dogs might seem harmless, the effects can be really serious and have a significant impact on their quality of life, with health risks including arthritis, breathing difficulties, and hormonal conditions. 

“It’s also important to note that obesity in pets can sometimes stem from medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid – if you’re concerned about your dog’s weight, book an appointment with your local vet who will be able to advise further.” 

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Hereford Times: If you are worried about your dog's weight, always speak to your vetIf you are worried about your dog's weight, always speak to your vet (Image: Getty)

To help protect your dog from obesity, Jackie has shared three helpful tips.

Take a look at their diet

“One of the biggest causes of obesity in dogs is a poor diet, with many owners not realising that they need the perfect balance of fat, protein, and minerals to maintain a healthy weight.   

“It’s always best to do your research into the best food for your four-legged friend and how much to feed them, as all pets are different. Your local veterinary practice will be able to offer more advice on this topic too. 

“As well as watching their weight, it’s important to take good care of your pooch’s nutrition more generally.

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“For example, it’s a good idea to pair your dog’s feed with supplements that support their gastrointestinal, or gut, health.

“VetPlus offers a range of nutraceuticals including SUSTAIN, a probiotic that helps with healthy gut health whilst also taking care of the immune system.”

Keep on top of their exercise

“As with humans, it’s important that dogs get enough exercise to keep in shape and avoid becoming obese.

“Whilst it’s vital that our canine companions are walked regularly, the length and frequency of these walks varies depending on their age, breed, and general health – so keep this in mind too.

“If your dog is a breed that needs more exercise – for example a Springer Spaniel or Border Collie – remember that having a varied exercise regime can be enjoyable for them, including different ways to keep active.”

Hereford Times: Jackie from VetPlus says 'pet obesity is a real issue in the UK'Jackie from VetPlus says 'pet obesity is a real issue in the UK' (Image: Getty)

Keep a close eye on the scales

“One of the most effective ways to make sure your dog isn’t putting on too much weight is to schedule regular weigh-ins with your vet practice. 

“Lots of vet practices offer weight clinics or have scales in their waiting room that you can use without an appointment. 

“Pop a reminder in your diary for once every couple of months and make a note of the number on the scales to ensure it stays within healthy boundaries.”

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Jackie explains: “If you’re working on getting your companion down to a healthy size, it is also necessary to manage any other issues related to obesity.    

“For example, if your dog is suffering from stiff joints or osteoarthritis – which can often occur in overweight pets – help them with supplements that can benefit joint health.

“VetPlus’ SYNOQUIN is a joint supplement that helps promote healthy cartilage and aids with inflammation, supporting mobility and general joint health.”