Healthy dog weight is necessary and achievable. With a healthy weight, you are allowing your dog to get excellent quality of life. For this reason, it would best if you know how to tell if your dog is already overweight. Additionally, you cannot neglect a dog’s ideal weight; just like in humans, a healthy body weight is essential to maintain a well-shaped figure. In effect, the dog can also prevent the risk of developing health problems associated with being overweight or obese.
A Dog’s Healthy Weight
Every breed of dog has individual weight requirements. A healthy weight also considers the age of the dog. Sometimes, older pets tend to become fat or obese. It is because they lack physical movements due to their old age.
However, that doesn’t mean we will stop maintaining their weight just because they are old. In actuality, keeping a dog’s weight should start while young. A dog’s body condition would be better to adapt to this practice as early as possible.
As a result of maintaining a healthy body weight for your dog, you keep them from health risks. But, what could be the potential reasons why our dogs become obese dogs? Well, finding them out will surely shock you.
Causes of Weight Gain
Unfortunately, your dog’s gaining of weight can also arise based on how you took care of them. Here are the factors that you have something to do as well.
- You are feeding your dog more than the ideal diet
- You are keeping them inactive
- Reproductive status
- Pre-existing diseases
As you can see, some of the causes can come from you as a pet owner. A dog needs a proper diet and an active lifestyle as well. Otherwise, you would get overweight dogs in the end.
Causes of Weight Loss
On the other hand, we should not only focus on being overweight. It is also essential to pay attention to dogs being underweight. Here are the potential factors leading to dogs being underweight.
- Insufficient diet
- Oral conditions
Overweight and underweight are both concerning. As much as possible, we want to achieve a dog’s ideal weight to keep it healthy, strong, and active.
A Dog’s Ideal Weight
Various dog breeds are everywhere. These dogs differ in body size and types. In this case, how would we know if our dog met its ideal body weight? Fortunately, there is a way for you to find the target weight for your dog. You can use the combination of body weight and body condition score (BCS).
Here is the way on how you should calculate your dog’s average target weight. Let’s go!
1 Compute your dog’s body condition score
The Body Condition Score is a tool that you can use to estimate the fat present in the body. In canine BCS, they evaluate dogs using a 9-point scale. The dogs that fall under the middle scale, or scale 4-5, are those with healthy body conditions.
Meanwhile, the dogs with a score of 1-3 are underweight. On a scale of 6-7, the dog is overweight at this point. Lastly, the scales 8-9 are for obese dogs. Unfortunately, there are also potential morbidly overweight dogs, which have a BCS beyond the scale of 9.
2 Compute your dog’s target weight
At this point, use your dog’s BCS to figure out its ideal weight based on its physique. Follow these simple steps.
- Get your dog’s BCS and subtract five from it.
- Multiply the answer by ten, then add 100.
- Then, divide 100 by the answer you got. Round off the result into three digits.
- Multiply the answer to your dog’s current weight. The answer will be your dog’s target weight.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Overweight?
When using BCS, you have to examine the ribs, abdomen, and waistline using your eyes and your sense of touch. Here is what you need to confirm.
- The ribs are evident and contain minimal amounts of fat only.
- Your dog’s waist should be noticeable from the top view with an inward curve behind the ribs.
- On the side view, you should notice an “abdominal tuck” or the belly with a slight upward curve behind the ribs.
It would also help to observe your dog’s behavior. Your dog might show excessive inactivity and spend more time feeding themselves. Moreover, pet obesity involves trouble walking, breathing difficulties, and becoming a couch potato.
Furthermore, the best way to determine pet obesity is by taking them to a veterinary clinic. Your vet will perform a weigh-in of your dog. After the weigh-in, your vet can quickly tell if your dog excessed the ideal weight according to their breed and size.
How to Help Your Dog Achieve Weight Loss?
There are so many things that you can do to trim down those excess pounds from your dog. You can achieve weight loss for your dog through the following tips.
- Calculate the calories: If you are not familiar with the calorie count for your dog, ask your veterinarian about it. There is a specific calorie count that your pet requires per day.
- Measure their meals: A measuring cup will maintain control in feeding your pet the right amount of dog food.
- Manage the treats: Do not give your pet too many treats as it can add to their calories.
- Feed them with vital veggies: Feed your pet with nutritious fruits and veggies applicable to them.
- Practice regular exercise: Your dog is the best exercise buddy. I can assure you that. All fun and laughter while you lose weight.
- Pet supplements: Supplements can also work for your pets, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
- Cut down carbs intake: Provide a menu with balanced protein and carbohydrates.
Given these points, you have to keep this up to ensure that you will maintain your dog in this state in the long term.
A dog’s life lies in the hands of its pet owners. Make it fruitful, active, and healthy. Additionally, help your dog achieve an ideal body and keep them from being an overweight dog. Work out those extra pounds and seek help from your veterinarian.
How to Calculate Your Dog’s Healthy Weight, Natalie Stilwell, DVM, MS, PhD, December 04, 2019, https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/how-calculate-your-dogs-healthy-weight
7 Surprising Ways To Help Your Pet Lose Weight (And Why It’s Important), Dr. Ernie Ward, DVM, Reviewed by Dr. Rebekah Mack, DVM, December 20, 2018, https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-checkups-preventive-care/7-surprising-ways-help-your-pet-lose-weight-and-why-its