While people, especially women, may worry about cellulite, dogs can sit, stay and relax: They don't get cellulite. However, that doesn't mean they're immune from the condition that causes cellulite in humans: obesity. In fact, like people, dogs can suffer from obesity, which causes far too many health problems.
Cellulite: A People Problem
Cellulite is a condition where fat deposits accumulate underneath the skin, causing a dimpled or lumpy appearance. Medical parlance refers to it as adiposis edematosa, but to most people it's known as "cottage cheese skin" or "orange peel syndrome." Although its cause is not well understood, hormonal factors, genetics and diet have all been blamed. Smokers and couch potatoes also may may develop cellulite.
Obesity: A Potential Dog Problem
Although dogs don't develop cellulite per se, they can gain weight and, thus, become obese. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, obesity in dogs is a common medical problem that stresses a dog's body and can increase the risk of diabetes, liver problems and joint pain. Some breeds, such as labs and pugs, as well as older dogs have a tendency to become overweight.
A Waist and A Tummy
How to tell if your dog is overweight? The ASPCA says you should stand over your dog and look for a noticeable waist between the hips and rib cage. Also, viewed from the side, you should see a tummy "tuck" where the abdomen rises from the bottom of the rib cage to inside the thighs. If you can't see these lines, your dog may be overweight.
Debra Levy has been writing for more than 30 years. She has had fiction and nonfiction published in various literary journals. Levy holds an M.A. in English from Indiana University and an M.F.A. in creative writing/fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars.