In order for your dog to be able to live their best lives through an active and healthy lifestyle, it is really important for them to maintain a healthy body weight.
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that this is the case, and it is up to you to ensure that your dog is getting the right diet and amount of exercise.
You will need to keep an eye on your dog to ensure that they are a healthy weight, but the ideal weight that they should be will depend on the breed they are.
Most dog breeds will have a breed standard that you can refer to if you are unsure what the normal weight should be for our dog.
In this article, we are going to explain exactly how you can tell if your dog is at a healthy weight, and what you need to do if they are not.
Your dog being either overweight or underweight can easily become a problem if it is not treated, so it is really important to be vigilant when it comes to their weight.
Healthy Weight for Dogs
Lots of studies have taken place when it comes to dogs, their diets, and their nutritional intake, and the results from such studies have shown that eating a properly regulated diet can ensure that dogs can live up to 2 years longer.
This is very significant, considering that the average lifespan of a dog is somewhere between 10 and 13 years.
Keeping this in mind, there are clear benefits to maintaining your dog’s weight at a healthy level. However, the question is, how can you tell if your dog is at a healthy weight? It is not as difficult as you might think.
How to Tell if Your Dog is at a Healthy Weight
One of the most accurate ways to find out if your dog is at a healthy weight is by taking them to see a vet or pet nutritionist, as they will be able to give you all the right information.
However, there are also different ways that you can find this out for yourself, and these methods will be able to tell you if your dog needs a change in their lifestyle.
Looking at Your Dog
As a general rule, your dog’s abdomen should be higher up than their rib cage, so from their front legs, their underside will gradually incline up toward their rear.
A steep incline would suggest that your pet is underweight, but a shallow incline, or no incline at all, could indicate that your dog is overweight.
One of the best ways for you to check your dog’s profile would be to lower yourself so that you are level with your dog, and then view them from the side.
This is the most accurate approach to profiling your dog, and it can tell you more about their health than you might have thought.
Examining Their Ribs
One of the other ways that you can easily tell if your dog is overweight just by looking at them is to place both of your thumbs on the dog’s spine and open your hands over their rib cage.
If your dog is at a healthy weight, then you should be able to feel their ribs under their coat and skin.
However, if there is too much fat present, then you will not be able to feel their ribs. You will need to make sure that you are looking with your hands and not your eyes, as a dog’s coat can easily be misleading, and make it seem like they are overweight when they are not.
Look Down at Your Dog
Something else that you can do to determine if your dog is overweight or not is to look at them. If your dog has a healthy body weight, then they will have a similar shape to that of an hourglass.
To find out if this is the case for your dog, you will need to stand just in front of their face and look down at them.
In an ideal situation, you will be able to see your dog’s waist tucked behind their ribs.
If you are able to see the outline of your dog’s individual ribs and their waist seems to be noticeably more narrow than their rib cage, then it is likely that your pet is underweight.
However, if their waist is in line with their ribs or bulges out past the ribs, then it is likely that your pet is overweight.
What if My Dog is Overweight or Underweight?
If your dog is either underweight or overweight, you are going to need to change up their lifestyle, depending on the issue that you are facing.
If you have found that your dog is underweight, then it is possible that they are being over-exercised without being provided with a suitable increased calorie intake.
In this instance, you might want to consider putting your dog on working dog food, as this type of food is designed to provide dogs with the right amount of energy for what they need.
As well as this, it also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that will allow your dog to get back to a healthy weight while also improving their physical output.
Alternatively, if you have found that your dog is overweight, then you will need to give them more daily exercise, or increase the intensity of their daily exercise, and change their diet to one that consists mostly of light dog food.
It is worth keeping in mind that almost half of dogs in both the United States and the United Kingdom are overweight.
Now more than ever is the time for dog owners to be actively tackling canine obesity.
If your dog is getting an upset stomach from certain dog foods, you might want to consider a grain-free alternative. You can also talk to your vet to get the best advice when it comes to your dog and their diet.