Is My Dog Overweight?

 

 

If your dog has been looking chubby, help him take off the pounds before they become a serious problem. Just like overweight humans, overweight dogs face decreased quality of life and early death. They may experience:

• sugar diabetes

•  damage to joints

•  difficulty breathing,  decreased stamina and heat intolerance

•  heart disease and high blood pressure

•  decreased liver function and immune system

•  digestive disorders

•  higher risk for cancer

Vets use a 9 point scoring system to evaluate a dog’s weight.  A score of 1 means your dog is extremely thin while a score of 9 means he is grossly overweight. Follow the steps below to get a sense where your dog falls on the weight scale.

1. Feel your dog’s ribs. You should be able to feel each rib. If you see the ribs, the dog is too thin. If you can’t feel them at all, your dog is overweight.

2.  Check the area at the base of the tail. You should be able to feel bones there.

3.  Feel the spine, shoulder and hips. If you can’t feel the bones beneath a layer of fat, your dog is overweight.

4. Look at your dog from above. He should have a definite waist behind the ribs. If there’s no waist, your dog is carrying too much weight.

5. Look at your dog from the side. The area behind the ribs should be smaller in diameter than the chest.

If your four-legged friend needs to drop a few pounds, keep the following in mind:

• Limit treats to 10 percent of your dog’s intake. Know the calorie count and nutritional value of the treats.

•  Provide exercise. Your dog will burn calories and keep his muscles toned and joints flexible.

•  Choose the correct type and amount of food. Feed your dog meals. It’s hard to regulate how much he eats if you put down a bowl of food and let him eat all day.

•  Monitor your dog’s weight. It’s hard to tell if your dog is gaining weight by sight.

• Limit or eliminate table scraps.

Legal Disclaimer

This post is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for a vet’s professional diagnosis and treatment.

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