Most pet owners know that they shouldn’t let their dogs get too heavy, but they might not know the reasons why. The truth is, if your dog is overweight, it might not live as long as it should. There are estimates that show dogs who are at their ideal body weight live almost two years longer than their litter mates who are overweight. So how do you check to see if your dog is the right body weight? Keep reading for some suggestions:
Use a Chart to Find Ideal Body Weight
If you have already started the research process, you have probably found that there are charts or tables based by breed that can give you an idea of the proper weight for your dog. Though this can give you a ballpark figure, there are a few problems. For one, just like people, dogs of the same breed might have different types of body shapes. So, a large Labrador retriever and a smaller one might be the same weight on the scale, but the smaller one might be overweight. The other problem with this method is that many dogs are mix breed dogs. So, if you have a puggle, do you look at a beagle chart or a pug chart? There could be a big difference.
Talk to Your Vet to Find Ideal Body Weight
Instead of relying on a chart or table, your best bet is to consult with your vet about your dogs ideal body weight. Vet’s use a system called the Purina Body Condition System. Vets using this system will look at and feel the dogs body to determine their ideal weight. Once they examine your dog, they will assign a value to your dog: too thin, ideal or too heavy. Once that has been established, they will make a recommendation that your dog might need to lose a couple of pounds, gain a couple of pounds or to change nothing about the way you feed your dog.
Giving your dog high quality food, taking recommendations from your vet and feeding your dog the right amount of food can help to ensure that they are getting the right nutrition and will remain at an ideal weight. By doing this, you can help your dog live a happier, healthier and longer life.