How to Tell a Dogs Weight?
Dog weight varies with different dog breeds. Some dog breeds can be large, for instance, Saint Berdoodle. Despite this, we find some dogs overweight or fat due to overfeeding.
Additionally, dogs that are fat or obese can suffer from major health issues from heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
We sometimes think overweight pets are a nice sight but the risk is far greater. For joint problems, one may buy an orthopedic bed for their dog to ease pressure on the joints but for other diseases, it can be fatal.
They are tests one can do at home to check if their dog is emaciated, thin, fat, or very obese as described below
Tips on How to Evaluate your Dog Weight
Check from the Side
Not only, is it difficult to observe breeds with heavy coats but also you need to scrutinize them well to see if they are underweight.
Importantly, if you see ribs showing when you look from the side your dog could be underweight. Despite this, some breeds can be of normal weight even with ribs showing, for instance, greyhounds, and whippets.
Subsequently, if her tummy is hung below her chest or level with her chest then your dog’s weight is not normal. Undoubtedly, if her tummy tucks up from her chest then you need not worry.
Check from Above
When looking at your dog from above if you see her looking round-shaped and if your dog doesn’t have a visible tucked-in waist she may be overweight.
Moreover, if the hipbones protrude sharply it may signify she is underweight.
If the waistline is inward curved nicely your furry friend could be of the right weight.
Pat the Ribs
Patting or rubbing at the ribs is a good way of knowing if your dog is overweight or underweight particularly with dog breeds with heavy coats. Dog breeds with heavy coats can easily conceal the real weight issue with their fur.
Do this during grooming or when just giving a friendly pet rub on your dog’s body. Remember obesity can cause health problems for dogs of any age.
If you pat your dog and can feel the ribs greatly as a thin layer of fat covers them then your dog is underweight. Even so, if you can’t feel the rib cage of your dog it could be an indication that your dog is overweight.
If when patting you feel a light padding like a blanket over your dog’s ribs then, it may signify that your dog is of the right weight.
Causes of Weight Gain in Dogs
We have various reasons that a dog can gain weight namely:
Lack of Exercise
Ever heard of dog breeds known as “couch potatoes”. Just as the name says it all, the dog will be found always laying down and not active. We have different types of dog breed, some are active and aggressive, other love to just lay down and cuddle, as some are protectors and will always be jumpy.
Dogs need exercise as different breeds have different metabolism rates. Depending on the dog breed, exercises can range from running or going for a walk daily for 20-60 minutes.
Understand your dog breed to be able to give enough exercises, if not, the dog will eat and gain weight if underutilized.
Invest in toys that the dog can use during playtime at home or at the park. I can recommend a game of fetch, Kong ball, chew ropes for aggressive breeds.
Have scheduled feeding times so as to avoid overfeeding. Moreover, get high-quality foods that are suitable for different ages.
If it is a puppy give food that is high in proteins and calories to facilitate proper growth.
For senior/adult dogs give food that is enough in the right portions with minimum calories.
If you are away from home for long hours get an automatic feeder or Furbo camera that is programmed to give food at the required time to prevent the dog from eating anytime.
Also, during training when rewarding do not give excess treats, sometimes use positive reinforcement like praises.
Avoid giving snacks in between meals to your dog as this can lead to overfeeding.
In addition, when a dog is overweight he can suffer from health problems like obesity, difficulties in walking, arthritis, heart problems, joint problems, etc.
For pregnancy, it may be difficult to control the weight as the dog eats for the litter for proper growth before birth.
Ensure to give a healthy diet and treat, and for any health issues like worms and parasites that may be passed to the litter before birth seek treatment.
The weight gain can be reduced once the dog stops nursing the litter and separation is done at 3-4 weeks. It is recommended that the mother nurse the litter as the natural milk has immunity that prevents diseases to the litter. Notably, after separation ensure the puppies are vaccinated against any preventable diseases to avoid sickness and death.
To reduce the excess weight give the dog enough exercises daily to shed the extra weight.
It has been noted by veterinary clinics that specific dog breeds are more prone to obesity than others. For example, Dachshunds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Beagles, Labrador retriever, Rough collies, and America cocker spaniels.
Due to heredity genes from parent dogs, the puppy can suffer from certain diseases that can lead to obesity or weight gain.
Following this, when adopting a puppy it is good to get one from a reputable breeder and get the parent’s medical history to avoid health problems in the future.
Do not under any condition give medication to your dog due to weight gain without consulting your vet.
Some weight gain can be a result of stress and diseases (Cushing’s, thyroid) and need to be treated differently.
You need to have a realistic weight loss plan for your dog and can be discussed with your vet. Do not speed up the process as it can take time to shed the weight just as much time it took your dog to gain.
Unquestionably, any crash program like an immediate change of diet may have negative effects on your dog.
While stress may require a change of routine and giving exercises, diseases may need tests and diagnosis before given medication.
Alongside this, obesity in dogs has mainly been attributed to low levels of physical activities as well as consuming a high palatable diet, rectify these.
Lastly, do not give puppy food that contains high calories to grown dogs as it can lead to gaining weight. As the puppy grows change the diet gradually with consultation with the vet.