On more than one occasion, people have looked at my dog and offered comments like, "Looks a little thin", "Too skinny", or "a little anemic". For those of you who have yet to meet Shiloh, let me describe him. Because of genetics (and nothing to do with me), he is trim, athletic and well muscled. Every description I've read has him at an ideal weight.
Another story: Went to a friend's house to help him remodel. I was greeted by his pups, who I hadn't see in a while. Each dog was slightly overweight and I told the owner as much. Slightly offended, the reply was that they had just come from the vet and given a clean bill of health.
|This Dog Is Overweight|
"Well, yes, your dog could stand to lose a bit. But honestly, people take such offense when I tell them that their dog weighs too much that anymore, if the weight problem is not too drastic, I just let it slide."
|This Is A Healthy Weight Dog|
Our dogs lives are too short. The list of complications for our dogs from being overweight is well known (see here) . But the first step for a better (and possibly longer) life for your dog is to understand what a healthy weight looks like.
1. A dog should have a waist
When you look at your dog from above, there should be an hourglass figure. Broad in the rib cage, broad in the hips, but narrower between. If it is a straight line, your dog is overweight.
Also, when looking at the dog from the side, there should be abdominal tuck. In other words, the should not hang down, but should be up tight into the dog. The lower the belly is hanging, the fatter the dog.
In short, the dog's waist ought to be tiny. If thick when viewed from above or from the side, your dog is overweight.
2. Ribs should be felt, not seen
If you can't feel the ribs without having to press and dig for them, then your dog is overweight.
Check this out for some pictures.
Look, I'm not trying to guilt you into anything. But you might not have all the info. Push the topic with your vet. Don't ask if my dog is overweight. Ask if your dog is an an ideal weight and you might find a different answer.
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