Having your dog at their ideal body weight is very important for their health. This is a very simple statement yet I see more dogs that are overweight and more owners making up excuses for their pets obesity. Dogs that are overweight have risk of heart disease, diabetes, their joints are stressed making it harder for them to move around more freely, and the dog’s life is shortened. In this article I have listed how to tell if your dog is too thin, has ideal weight or is too heavy.
• Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass.
• Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible. No palpable fat. Some evidence of other bony prominence. Minimal loss of muscle mass.
• Rib easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.
• Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.
• Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from the side.
• Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernible viewed from above bit is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.
• Ribs palpable with difficulty: heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist is absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be present.
• Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distention may be present.
• Massive fat deposits over thorax, spine and base of tail. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and limbs. Obvious abdominal distention.
Please if your dog is overweight make a veterinarian appointment as soon as possible to discuss a healthy eating plan for your dog and an exercise program. In no time your dog will get their energy back and be healthier and happier.