Though it’s not common, Great Danes can get overweight. They won’t ever get as round as maybe a Dachshund can, but they can definitely have too much fat–especially aging Danes that are not as active as they used to be, but are still fed the same amount. Feeding junk food or human treats, or having health issues such as thyroid disease or hip dysplasia can also lead to your Dane gaining a few extra pounds. Those extra pounds can mean even more health issues and shorten your Dane’s lifespan, so it’s important to notice your dog’s body health and change their diet and/or exercise regimen accordingly. Watch for the following 3 signs that your Great Dane is overweight.
#1 – Can’t Feel Ribs
While Great Danes are usually pretty svelte with ribs that are sometimes even visible, an overweight Dane will have ribs you can’t feel even when you lightly press your hand to their rib cage. The excess layer that prevents you from feeling your Dane’s ribs is a fatty one, and not good.
#2 – No Definition
A Great Dane silhouette is one of the most easily recognizable of the dog breeds – even to those who are not “dog people.” Your Dane should have a nice deep barrel chest, rib cage, and narrow waist that’s notably smaller than the rib cage. If she is one smooth line from chest to tail, your Dane has a few extra pounds to shed. Dr. Sophia Yin’s website has a great, easy to follow guide for checking your Dane’s body definition.
#3 – Panting
Unless your Great Dane is stressed or too warm, panting is another sign he is overweight. If your Dane starts to pant after only walking a block, he may be out of shape and overweight. Definitely time to start an exercise regimen to slowly build back his stamina and lose some pounds.