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Is My Dog The Right Weight? Find Out If You Have A ‘Chunky Monkey’ Or a ‘Twiggy’ In Your Home
How do you know if they have an overweight or underweight dog? It can be a complicated question for the average dog owner. Just like human bodies, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from short and squat to tall and lean, with boxy bodies and legs. Guessing the right weight for each frame can be daunting. Here are signs that can help you estimate weight ratios for some of the most typical dog breeds: retrievers, terriers, poodles, spaniels, shih tzus. The main areas to check are the ribs, hips, waist and stomach.
Signs that your dog is overweight:
Fat monkey -Waistless dog – your dog should not look like a wiener dog, unless he is one.
Marshmallows -If you can’t feel your dog’s spine, pelvis or ribs with light pressure, you can only feel soft fat instead.
Nice -A wading dog with layers on the sides and hips that rotate when the dog walks.
Round -If the stomach is constantly rounding past the navel area, where the stomach should start to retract and to the waist.
Signs that your dog is underweight:
A belt– The dog’s waist appears to have been absorbed under vacuum pressure
Twiggy – Hips, ribs and spine can be seen or felt without pressure
Parachute – There is extra skin on the waist
Signs that your dog is the perfect weight:
· The width of the waist is 1.2-1.3 times greater than the width of the neck
· The dog’s sides do not swing or roll when the dog moves or runs
· You cannot see the pelvis, ribs or spine, but you can feel them under light pressure
· The dog’s belly stretches to the waist, and is not round or excessively inward.
Patience and a little experimentation will help you find the right weight for your dog. Your veterinarian is a great tool when you are researching how much and what kind of food you should feed your dog. You are the one who lives with your dog on a daily basis and you see if there is a change in weight when you change food and/or exercise. Whatever you choose, make these changes in moderation. If you add exercise to your dog’s life, make sure his nails are trimmed back to a usable length.
If you feel like your dog is a “fat monkey,” check with your vet first to rule out a number of conditions that affect certain breeds more than others (such as Cushing’s disease), which can make a dog appear overweight when it isn’t. This guide is suitable for most dogs. Use a scale for underweight dogs as the perfect weight for “lean breed dogs” such as Great Danes, Whippets and Greyhounds. If your dog looks like he has a belt, try giving him more food by increasing his intake by ¼, 1/2 or 1 cup more at night and during the day depending on whether he is a small, medical or large dog. It is common for healthy dogs to remain on the lean side. There are many appetite-increasing nutritional supplements on the market. Veterinarian guidance and experimentation are the keys to a dog’s weight change.
Find out where your dog’s weight falls. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions. Make changes according to your dog’s age. Experiment with your dog weekly by changing his food intake and exercise program a little at a time. See pictures and videos of dog weight ranges on the website for more help with your breed. Give your dog the longest, healthiest life you can, peel the marshmallows and let Twiggy be a memory, keep your dog’s weight “just right”. The time you get with him will far outweigh the inconvenience and trouble it may cost you.
Copyright 2010 DuAnn Lustig Chambers
Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you print the author’s information and keep all links active.
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