Great Danes can become overweight meaning that they can gain more weight than they should. Excess weight gain for large breed dogs especially the Great Dane is detrimental to their health and development.
If you suspect and are worried that your Great Dane has gained weight, you are in the right place to find out if this is so.
In this article, I will delve into more details to show you signs of an overweight Great Dane, the causes of weight gain in Great Danes, and when to see a vet.
Signs of An Overweight Great Dane
Common signs of an overweight Great Dane include:
1. A bulkier body silhouette
Different dog breeds have different body silhouettes that distinguish them as the breed’s physical standards.
The Great Dane’s body silhouette is a dog with a well-defined, muscular, athletic body. From the neck, their chest broadens and the body narrows towards the hind legs.
If your dog’s body frame does not represent a Great Dane’s typical form but a bulky or rounded form, then he must have added on more weight.
2. Lack of tucked up belly
Take a look at your Great Dane from the side. They should have an abdominal tuck up, that is, the area between their rib cage and the rear end should prominently show an abdominal tuck.
The Great Dane is a deep-chested dog and the abdominal tuck should be very prominent. If you cannot see your dog’s belly tucking up at the hind legs, they are overweight.
3. Lack of a waistline
A Great Dane with a healthy weight has a noticeable waist. Take a look at your dog from above, viewing their body frame.
The waist should be prominent, which is the area between where their ribcage stops and the rear end. If you cannot see their waistline this means that they have gained weight.
4. Ribs can't be felt
Feel for your Great Dane’s body. You should also be able to feel your dog’s ribs even without pressing too hard at the side of their body.
However, if you cannot feel their ribs, they have gained some weight.
5. Their weight is above the average for their age
Depending on the age and gender of a Great Dane, their weights should reflect a healthy rate of growth.
A Great Dane’s growth chart gives an estimate of the weight at a particular age.
The growth chart weights are averages because all dogs are different and will grow at different rates.
Some will have weights that are more or less their estimated weight at a particular age, which is normal.
You can weigh your Great Dane or take them to the vet to have them weighed during your regular medical checkups. This will indicate if they are over or under the average weight for their age.
Generally, if your dog’s weight is 15% above the estimated average for their age, they are obese and if the weight is between 0 and 15% of the average weight for their age, they are overweight.
6. Heavy breathing with regular exercise
Great Danes don’t usually need or have intensive exercise to keep them healthy. They thrive on moderate exercise and also this helps to avoid strain to their delicate joints and bones.
If your Great Dane is extremely out of breath with heavy breathing after a regular session of exercise, this can be an indication of extra weight gain which makes them get tired easily.
If they also seem to have less stamina and energy to do their regular exercises, weight gain can be a contributing factor that limits active participation in activities.
Are Great Danes fat?
Great Danes are not fat, they are dog breeds that are not genetically predisposed to gain more weight and become obese like other dog breeds.
The Great Dane typically has a muscular, well-defined body frame, however, other factors affecting their health and lifestyle can make them gain more weight than normal.
Are Great Danes supposed to be skinny?
Great Danes are not supposed to be skinny, however, the puppies and adults should have a healthy weight based on their age and the breed’s rate of growth. This healthy weight can make young Great Danes look skinny however this is normal.
Read More: Why is my Great Dane puppy so skinny?
What is a healthy weight for a Great Dane?
Generally, a healthy weight for a Great Dane is between 120 to 200 pounds for an adult male and 100 to 130 pounds for a female Great Dane. Different life stages of the Great Dane from puppies, adolescents, and adults will have different weights based on a dog’s individual age, lifestyle, and health status.
Read More: How fast do Great Danes grow?
1.Feeding them too much food
If you’re not sure how many calories your Great Dane needs for healthy weight gain, you may be feeding them more than they require.
The age of a dog can also cause an imbalance in calories used by their bodies. For example, older dogs are less active and as an owner, if you feed them the same calories that you provided them at a young age, they will have more calorie intake which results in weight gain.
Also, giving in to a begging dog for more food can lead to providing excess food than they should have.
Don’t give in when they seem to ask for more, always feed them the correct food quantities appropriate for their age and gender.
Hypothyroidism is an abnormality of the thyroid gland caused by an underactive thyroid.
The condition causes a Great Dane’s metabolism to slow down which affects all the organs in their body. Several symptoms occur such as weight gain, slowed heart rate, lethargy, dull hair, shedding, hair and skin infections.
Cushing’s disease, which is a disease of the adrenal glands, also leads to weight gain in Great Danes.
3. Inadequate exercise
The amount of exercise a Great Dane requires depends on their age. Great Danes love to lounge, a lot! If not adequately exercised, they add on pounds in weight gain.
Read More: Why does my Great Dane sleep too much?
A Great Dane puppy requires about 90 minutes of exercise each day while an adult requires 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day.
The exercise here is in the form of long walks or play. This keeps them in shape and prevents excess weight gain.
Exercise should not be too strenuous such as running or jogging with them. This should be held off until they’re at least 18 months of age.
This allows their young delicate bones and joints to develop properly and prevent orthopedic health conditions.
Recommended Reading: When do Great Danes growth plates close?
4. Spayed or neutered Great Danes
Great Danes that have been spayed or neutered are also likely to become overweight. These procedures affect their metabolism and use of energy which increases the likelihood of weight gain.
When to see a vet
Weight gain for a Great Dane can cause severe lifelong and irreversible health conditions. Therefore it is important to address it.
If you observe and suspect that your Great Dane may be overweight, seek medical attention from your vet.
The vet will determine the cause of your Great Dane’s weight gain if they are indeed overweight or other underlying health conditions.
Your vet will create a weight loss plan to help you manage their weight depending on your dog’s age and health condition. You’ll get a customized plan.
Conclusion: Overweight Great Dane
Plump Great Danes are at a higher risk of major health conditions that affect their bones and joints. Weight gain should be monitored and controlled to prevent this.
Look out for signs of an overweight Great Dane and seek medical advice from your vet on how to maintain healthy weight gain for your dog.
I hope this article helped you to know how to generally determine whether your Great Dane is overweight as well as understanding the common reasons a Great Dane can gain weight.