Obesity in dogs is a very real problem. While every dog benefits from regular exercise and a balanced, healthy diet, some dog breeds, biggest dog breeds, really – are just more likely than others to struggle with their weight. In fact, a 2020 survey shows that up to 56% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.
Related: Dog Quotes
And their humans don’t feel good about it either. A survey of Banfield Animal Hospital found that 62% of pet owners admitted that their pet’s obesity diagnosis made them feel uneasy. Of the 1,000 pet owners (whose pets were overweight or obese) surveyed, 93% also said they encountered barriers to maintaining a healthy weight for their pets at home.
Even though obesity in dogs is common in the United States, it can certainly be cause for concern. Obesity being linked to increased risk from respiratory problems, heart disease, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer, it’s worth consulting your veterinarian if you suspect your pup may be putting on a few extra pounds. (You can also try the Association for the Prevention of Obesity in Companion Animalsweight check tool.)
Related: Fastest Dog Breeds
Keep reading to find out how much the world’s fattest dog weighed, as well as the 15 fattest dog breeds prone to obesity.
What is the biggest dog in the world?
An English Mastiff named Zorba still holds the record according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Zorba weighed 343 pounds.
Comparatively, the tallest dog in the world was a Great Dane named Zeus. He weighed 155 pounds, but as an adult he was over 7 feet tall!
15 fattest dog breeds
1. Old English Mastiff
The 343-pound Zorba was by no means the black sheep of his breed. In fact, English Mastiffs are indeed prone to obesity.
This British dog breed typically weighs between 120 and 170 pounds in females and between 160 and 230 pounds in males. Plus, they’re known for their lazy dispositions!
2. St. Bernard
Known as an awesome giant for a good reason, you might already recognize Saint Bernards as one of the tallest (and heaviest!) breeds, thanks to a little movie called Beethoven. Males generally weigh between 140 and 180 pounds while females can weigh between 120 and 140.
3. Labrador retriever
It may surprise you to learn that Labrador Retrievers are, in fact, susceptible to obesity. Even though on average, male Labs weigh between 64 and 79 pounds and females between 55 and 71 pounds, it’s not uncommon for these pooches to really get carried away. It could simply be due to their brain wiring or, in fact, a genetic disposition.
To research shows that up to a quarter of Labs are born with a gene that doesn’t allow their brains to recognize hunger or feelings of fullness.
4. English Springer Spaniel
Bred as gun dogs, English Springer Spaniels are generally medium-sized dogs. On average, women weigh between 40 and 50 pounds while men weigh between 45 and 55 pounds.
But their bellies can get a little big for their panties if they’re overfed and under-exercised. Since English Springer Spaniels are genetically predisposed to health issues such as hip dysplasia and joint problemsobesity can exacerbate both.
The Bulldog is literally known for its plumpness, so it’s no surprise that this breed tends to go overboard. Although the Bulldog is quite plump in nature, if your pup is short of breath or tires easily, it may be a sign that he is overweight. A healthy female bulldog should weigh between 40 and 51 pounds; a male, between 51 and 55 pounds.
6. Border Terrier
Some terriers seem to be more prone to becoming overweight or obese and the Border Terrier, a small British breed bred for hunting, is one of them. Men typically weigh between 13 and 16 pounds while women typically weigh between 11 and 14 pounds, but these exuberant runners aren’t always enthusiastic about exercise. To keep him fit, make sure your Border Terrier gets at least one hour of exercise a day.
(scroll down to continue reading)
7. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers – or affectionately, Yorkies – are tiny little things. But while they’re usually only four to seven pounds, they’ve also been known to get a little big.
According YorkieInfoCenter.com, this toy breed can often become overweight or obese if the Yorkie in question has a “larger than average bone structure”. Add to that too much food or even the wrong food and not enough exercise and, well, your Yorkie could become stockier than a vet would like.
Originally bred in Germany, the Boxer is a mastiff-type short-haired dog known for its exceptional musculature. Although this breed is often seen as agile and strong, like the English Mastiff, they can have a tendency to put on extra weight.
Studies show that boxers are predisposed to hypothyroidism, an immune disease in which antibodies attack the dog’s own thyroid cells. It can conduct unexplained weight gain, hair loss, behavioral issues, etc.
Everyone knows how sensitive a Beagle’s nose is and although they make shrewd hunting dogs, it’s not uncommon for this breed to suffer from obesity.
The average male Beagle weighs between 22 and 24 pounds and the average female between 20 and 22 pounds, but as this breed ages they become more and more likely to slip into the “overweight” range.
10. Scottish Terrier
Another terrier breed that can be quite heavyset is the Scottish Terrier. Typically, males weigh between 19 and 22 pounds and females between 18 and 22 pounds. Although most notable for their regal disposition and shiny black or gray coats, Scotties can become overweight or even obese.
That’s why it’s important to give Scotties at least an hour of exercise a day, even if their short legs suggest otherwise!
Another particularly small breed, dachshunds – or weiner dogs – can be a bit heavyset. While this breed should ideally weigh between 16 and 32 pounds (or less than 11 pounds if miniature), the the heaviest dachshund in the worldObie, gained 77 pounds before embarking on his weight loss journey.
Pugs too can be tiny as well as plump. This bug-eyed breed with a curled tail should generally weigh between 14 and 18 pounds, but it’s their notorious appetites that often get them in trouble on the scale.
While Pugs are certainly not picky eaters, they also often suffer from respiratory issues, thanks to their brachycephalic bone structure, i.e. a flat, sunken face. This makes them aesthetically pleasing to many humans who like that kind of look, but it also makes the breed not too enduring of exercise.
All of that combined together and, well, it’s kind of the perfect storm for a propensity for obesity.
13. Basset Hound
Like the Beagle, Basset Hounds are another breed of hunting dogs that also struggle with their weight. Long droopy ears and droopy eyelids are perhaps their most distinguishing features, but any Basset Hound owner knows that these dogs love to eat…and overeat, if you let it.
The average female Basset Hound should weigh between 44 and 64 pounds while the average male should weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. But an unlimited love for food and a propensity to beg for treats could very easily tip the scales.
Newfoundlands are generally large in every way, with most males weighing between 140 and 180 pounds and most females between 120 and 140 pounds. In most cases of overweight or obese Newfoundlands, overeating is to blame, so it’s crucial that owners monitor their dogs’ food intake.
The Rottweiler – or Rottie – is another large dog breed. They too can reach the weight of a small human with average females weighing up to 110 pounds and males up to 130. But like the Boxer, Rottweilers are also prone to hypothyroidism and so to combat this problem predisposed health, it is important to keep as active as possible.
Next, the larger dog breeds.