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How to Maintain Your Dog's Ideal Weight

Updated on February 23, 2020
Williams Ashley profile image

Vet Assistant at CanadaVetExpress aims to bring joy in the life of animals and helps pet parents to make their pets’ lifestyles healthier.

How Easy it is for Pet Parents to Keep Their Furry Pal's Weight Under Check?

One of the most important challenges for a pet parent is to consistently keep their furry pal’s weight under check. It is not at all easy, especially when you know for a fact that dogs simply love to eat. It’s one of their favorite things to do, really. But too much of food intake is very harmful to their body, especially if they’re not exercising much. Maintaining the ideal weight is critical so that your fur buddy can enjoy a risk-free and disease-free lifestyle.

“A whopping 34 percent of dogs are overweight. Obesity is harmful and can cause several health issues and problems."

Obesity in dogs is fairly common these days.
Obesity in dogs is fairly common these days.

Assessing Your Dog’s Weight

First things first, it is essential to assess your dog’s weight. That’s important because without assessing your Fido’s weight, you cannot tell if he’s overweight, underweight, or the ideal weight. Moreover, proper weight assessment is done by following the below-mentioned points.

  • Ribs Checking: Have a proper look at your dog’s rib cage? Are his ribs very prominent, or are they can hardly be seen? Touch the ribs and see if the bones can be felt or it’s covered in fats. Generally, if you can feel the ribs and not see it; that’s the sign of a healthy and ideal-sized dog.
  • Take A Look From Above: Once you’ve checked the ribs, it is imperative to take a look from another angle to confirm the same. From above, look down on your dog and pay very close attention to his bones. How much visible are his bones? Can his ribs be seen? Can you see his pelvis bones? Can your dog’s waistline be noticed? The answers to all these questions will help in assessing your furry buddy’s weight.
  • Take A Look From The Side: The side view will have similar sightings as the view from above. Thus, focus and see if your dog has an abdominal tuck. Ideally, your pal should be having an upward tuck after its ribs, just beside its back legs.

“Maintaining a lean body can extend your dog’s median life span by up to 15 percent, i.e. approximately 2 years for dogs such as Labrador Retrievers.”

Weight assessment helps in figuring out your dog’s approximate weight.
Weight assessment helps in figuring out your dog’s approximate weight.

Tips for Maintaining The Ideal Weight in Canines

Once you’ve assessed your dog’s weight and found out that he is not up to the standards (either underweight or overweight), the time is nigh to begin tweaking your dog’s lifestyle in order to achieve the ideal weight.

  • Know How Much To Feed Your Dog: We as pet parents, often tend to feed our pets more than the required quantity, especially when they come near you wearing a sad look on their faces. Seeing them like that, we give in. But that’s not how it should be. Giving your dog only the required amount helps in keeping the extra calories away. To find out how much food your dog needs (different dogs will require different amounts of food intake), contact your local vet or get in touch with a pet dietician.
  • Pick The Correct Food: Not only is the right quantity of food important, but what you’re feeding is equally important too. For instance, feeding a puppy an adult diet and vice versa makes absolutely no sense. In fact, doing so can lead to health issues. Hence, pick the appropriate food based on your dog’s age, taste and preference, and of course, weight.
  • No In-Between Snacks or Treats: Loving your pet is one thing, and caring for him is another. If you want your pal to maintain the perfect weight, in-between treats and snacks should be strictly avoided. Not only do they add calories, but they also develop into a craving, which is extremely hard to let go of. Moreover, it’s okay to treat your dog with treats once in a blue moon on occasions such as your or his birthday.
  • A Big Yes To Exercise: Regular exercising is pivotal in maintaining proper body weight. It not only helps in keeping your dog slim and fit but also helps in keeping diseases at bay. Exercise such as walks, playing fetch, etc is also a great way to bond with your canine friend.

The combination of free-feeding, boredom, and lack of playtime are the main reasons why many dogs are failing to maintain the ideal weight.

Keep food containers, shelves, etc tightly closed and out of reach from dogs.
Keep food containers, shelves, etc tightly closed and out of reach from dogs.

Conclusion

Getting your dog back into the right shape can take a while, so be patient and work towards it with a calm mindset. Moreover, you can start adopting healthy food habits and include more fiber in their diet to regulate their digestive system and support healthy gut flora. Some of the sources of high-fiber food for dogs include Wheatgerm, Milled flaxseed, Brocolli, Kale, Apples, and many more.

Be safe and keep your furry munchkin safe as well!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2020 Ashley Williams

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