How Obesity Can Affect Your Dog's Hips

October 08, 2019

In a 2018 survey, it was is estimated that 56 percent of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese (Pet Obesity Prevention). Obesity in dogs can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and a shorter lifespan. One of the most common issues with overweight dogs is that weight places extra stress on their bones and joints. This can be painful and lead to hip problems. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to determine whether you have an oveweight dog and steps you can take to prevent the onset hip problems.


If you are concerned that your dog might be overweight, there are several ways to find this out, but one of these three options should give you the accurate answer:

  1. Body Condition Score. You can determine if your dog is overweight by using a body condition score. A body condition score (also known as an overweight dog chart) has pictures of what your dog looks like and what he should preferably look like. By comparing what you see to the ideal picture, you can judge whether your dog needs to lose weight. 
  2. Feel The Ribs. To do this, place your hands on the side of his chest, and gently pat down. If you can’t feel the ribs, chances are your dog is overweight. 
  3. Visit the Veterinarian. If you aren’t sure whether or not your dog is obese, your veterinarian can do a physical/visual exam and figure it out for you.

How to Tell If You Have an Overweight Dog

Here are some common hip problems in dogs caused by excessive weight:

  • Hip Dysplasia in Dogs- This is a common form of rear leg lameness that causes the joint to become loose (called subluxation) and thus results in painful wear and tear on the joint. Some people call it the "ball and socket" disease. Hip dysplasia is also a hereditary condition. If your dog is already predisposed to developing this condition, being overweight puts your dog at a higher risk.
  • Canine Arthritis- This joint condition causes the erosion of cartilage. A study from National Center for Biotechnology Information, showed that that a loss of 6-10 percent of body weight or more in dogs significantly reduced osteoarthritis-related lameness. How’s that for motivation? 

Weight loss can help prevent further joint damage. Instead of throwing your dog a treat, try throwing a toy instead! Check out our blog for tips on exercise for dogs

Hip pain in dogs is often caused by extra weight placed on dog's skeletal frame. The stress of the extra weight contributes to joint wear and tear of the joints. It can also cause pain which further dissuades the dog from being active.

If you suspect your dog has hip pain, check out our blog Hip Pain in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


If your dog is overweight, he may have existing damage from strain on his bones and joints. In addition to helping him lose weight, it can be beneficial to give your dog a daily bone and joint supplement, like Boneo Canine. Boneo Canine is an all natural supplement that provides lactoferrin-based bone and joint support to dogs.

bone and joint supplement for dogs

Monitoring your dog's weight is just one way to help support your dog's skeletal system, but check out this video for 4 other tips on strengthening your dog's bones and joints:

Be sure to check out the importance of preventative careexercise for dogs, and 5 Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Dog's Bones on our blog. 

About the Author

Bevi Edlund, Blog Editor

Hi, I'm Bevi Edlund. I'm a graduate of communications and journalism from Cal State University, Fullerton. I am also an animal rights activist and a huge dog lover! I think there is nothing more comforting than coming home after a long day than to your furry best friend. Here at Bio-Rep Animal Health, I'll be in charge of writing posts about lifestyle, nutrition and connecting with all of our readers.