All dogs come in many different shapes and sizes, and everybody loves their pooch, no matter what it weighs, but you may not know that underneath all that cute pudge lies an abundance of health problems. And one breed which is particularly affected by weight gain is the majestic Springer Spaniel. Is your Springer Spaniel overweight? Let’s find out!
Is your springer spaniel overweight?
There are different healthy weights for different ages and genders of Spaniel. Below, the healthy weights are listed, but if your dog does not fall into the healthy weight bracket, please contact your vet before making any lifestyle changes.
Healthy weights based on gender:
- Male spaniels should grow to be between 20kg and 25kg, but this can differ given their age and height.
- Female springer spaniels should grow to a smaller weight – if your pooch is somewhere between 18kg and 23kg, they are perfectly healthy. However, the weight of your dog may be slightly higher if they are post-natal
Healthy weights based on age:
- At 3-months old, female Springer puppies should weigh around 7kg, and males should weigh about 9kg
- Around 6-months old, a female spaniel should weigh 13kg, while a male puppy should weigh 17kg.
- 1-year-old puppies should weigh between 19.4kg and 24.2kg, but females will be smaller, and males should be bigger
- By the time your dog is two years old, it has fully matured, so for the weights at this age, see the above section about gender.
How common is obesity in Spaniels?
Due to the energetic nature of Springer Spaniels, they should rarely become overweight with regular exercise, but it is very easy for them to become overweight if they don’t exercise regularly.
The pounds can pack on pretty quickly if your Springer is too inactive. However, weight issues can also be genetic. Obesity can be a common problem with Springer Spaniels, so it is not unlikely that your Springer may have a genetic weight problem.
But no matter what the cause of the issue is, it can be easily fixed if you follow some simple tips and tricks!
Factors affecting Spaniel Weight Gain
As previously mentioned, Springer Spaniels need lots of exercise daily to keep themselves healthy. Being active can benefit your Springer’s happiness and wellbeing as well as their health, which is why it is such a crucial part of Spaniel care.
A fully grown Springer Spaniel needs at least two hours of exercise per day, although it is important not to push them past their limit. A puppy needs around 5 minutes of exercise per month of their life, and older dogs need around an hour of activity per day.
Another factor that can seriously affect the health and weight of your dog is the amount of food you allow them to consume. Depending on the size and age, a Springer Spaniel needs between 1000 and 1300 calories per day.
In terms of food, this is around a third of a tin of meat and a handful of biscuits, twice a day (for around 1000 calories). However, even if you are putting the right amount of food in their bowl each day, feeding a Spaniel human food (either from your meal or leftovers) and giving it lots of treats can throw their daily calories off balance.
As you already know, your Spaniel’s weight problem may be down to its ancestors. Springers have a long list of health problems, and obesity a common one, so bear in mind that your dog’s weight may not just come down to food and exercise.
How best to help your Springer lose weight
Although this may seem harsh, your Springer Spaniel’s weight problems are probably your own fault. The person controlling their exercise and feeding is you. So to make a difference in your Springer’s life, it will take work from you!
Changes in diet
One of the most effective ways to help your springer spaniel lose weight is through their diet. Diet is something that you have to be careful with, as radical changes to a dog’s diet in a short period of time can be very dangerous.
Start by removing any extras your dog is getting. The small tidbits from your own plate are off-limits, and although treats can be a great way to train and reward your dog, too many will be very fattening. The occasional treat is acceptable, though!
After seeing progress, start to reduce your spaniels daily intake of their own food. You mustn’t reduce the spaniels’ food intake to less than the healthy portion, and make sure to implant these changes slowly, over a long period of time.
Changes in exercise
Giving your Spaniel more exercise can help to boost their weight loss. Again, it is a process that should also be spread out over a lengthy period of time and will take lots of patience to see results.
Slowly increase the amount of daily exercise that your Spaniel gets, but DO NOT exceed the 2 hours per day of activity until you see a change in your dog’s weight.
Effects of weight gain on Spaniels
There are lots of health problems that can stem from your springer spaniel being overweight. The main issues which are caused by obesity are shown below:
- Heart Problems – lots of fatty acids can clog up the arteries and cause heart disease and heart attacks
- Bone problems – extra weight puts more pressure on the bones and joints – hip and elbow dysplasia are both common problems in springer spaniels, generally made worse by being overweight.
- Shortened life span – while some extra pudge may seem harmless to you, weight problems can decrease your dog’s life by up to 2 years!
Weight loss can be a wonderful thing for your Spaniel if it is adequately monitored and controlled. Seeing a drop in your dog’s weight will immediately increase its life span, and avoid painful problems, and although it may be a long and patient road, the end result is worth it! Is your dog overweight? Then get cracking!
Always ask a vet for advice before making changes to diet or excercise!