Overweight, Underweight or Just Right? How to Know and What to Do?

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Is Your Dog; Too Thin, Too Fat or Just Right?  


People who have pets sometimes forget that the pets are not human. They indulge the pets and in many cases over feed them.  If you ask them, in all honesty, they really cannot tell when their beloved pets are overweight  They wake up one day to find that the dog is actually obese.  This article will look into dogs and their weight, how to judge when they need to lose a few (or many) pounds and how to go about it.

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The Weight Scale (Some of these steps work for cats, as well.)

There are as many opinions, as there are people, to standardize things.  Veterinarians came up with a system to judge the weight of dogs.  This system consists of nine points on which to score the dog.

The first point on the scale connotes a dog that is thin to the point of malnutrition. Correspondingly, a score of nine indicates that the dog is grossly overweight or obese.  A middle score such as five means the dog is at an “ideal” or optimum weight.  These scores are not applicable across breeds.  A small dog with a score of five will in most cases be smaller than a big dog with a score of five.

The Method – The steps to find your dogs wethe scale are:

1. The first step is to run your hands along the sides of your dog.  You are trying to feel the ribs.  Each rib should be distinct to the touch.  There may be an amount of fat over the ribs, but this should not interfere with examination.  If you can see your pets’ ribs, he or she is much too thin. If you cannot feel the ribs during this examination, then the dog is overweight.

2. Next is an examination similar to the first.  Take a look at the tail. Near the base should be an area covered with fat.  The fat here should not be slight and smooth to the touch. Once again, if the bones are visible or very distinct to the touch, your dog is too thin.  If you cannot feel any bones at all, the dog is overweight.

3. There are parts of your dogs’ body that have bony prominences, look at them.  These parts are places such as, the dogs’ spine, his shoulders and hips.  As with the previous parts of the dogs’ body, these should have a small amount of fat covering them and be smooth to the touch.  Once again, if you can see the bones, the dog is too thin and if you cannot feel the bones through the covering fat, then your pet is overweight.

4. Stand over your dog.  Just behind the dogs ribs you should see a definite waist. If the waist is too pronounced and you can see bone, the dog is too thin. If you can see no waist or even worse the where the waist should be is wider than the ribs and the dogs hips, then the dog is overweight.

5. Look for an abdominal tuck.  This simply means that the diameter of the area behind the ribs is smaller than the diameter of the ribs.  To see the abdominal tuck you need to look at your dog from the side. You need to consider the breed here.  Some breeds such as Greyhounds have a much more pronounced abdominal tuck than other breeds.  If your dog is too thin, this abdominal tuck will be very pronounced.  If your dog is overweight, there will be no tuck.

Dog 7 300x195 Overweight, Underweight or Just Right?  How to Know and What to Do?Once you have done these tests, you should have an idea of your dogs’ weight status.  However, before changing your dog’s diet, have your veterinarian confirm that there are no other medical issues.

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