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The Connection Between Obesity and Thyroid Problems In Dogs

Dr. Debra

My dog is really fat. Do you think he can be hypothyroid?

Jenny Ambrish, NY, NY

Hi Jenny,

Excellent question. You wrote that your dog is overweight and wonder if it can be due to hypothryoidism.

For those of you that don’t know – the thyroid gland gland located in the neck just below the throat. This gland is responsible for producing and secreting thyroid hormone and responsible for regulating the metabolic rate. A common sign of hypothyroidism is weight gain/obesity in dogs.

Hypothyroidism is the hormone disorder in dogs most often affecting middle age dogs (most often from 2 to 9 years). It most often affects castrated male and spayed female dogs.

Mixed breed dogs and a variety of dog breeds are afflicted with this condition, such as the boxer, dachshund, Doberman pinscher, Great Dane, greyhound, golden retriever, Irish setter, miniature schnauzer, poodle as well as many other breeds.

Hypothyroidism affects approximately 0.2% of the dog population.
Obesity is much more common with estimate of 21 to 60% of dogs in the United States being obesity.

Therefore, most overweight dogs are not hypothyroid. Hypothyroidism can only be attributed to a very small percentage of obese dogs.
If you wonder if your dog has hypothyroidism – please see your veterinarian for testing. For more information – go to Hypothyroidism in Dogs.

Best of luck,

Dr. Debra