Ideal Weight Range

Stranger and/or veterinarian: Your dog is obese, and needs to lose weight! 

 

You: Woah! What? Did you just call my dog fat!?! Hang on a minute here, my dog is not fat! How dare you call my dog fat!

Does this sound familiar? That is the typical response that veterinarians, breeders, trainers, etc. get when they tell a customer that their dog is overweight.  At the very minimum, the customer will smile and nod and continue to feed their dog in the same manner that has caused them to become overweight.  Most vets don't even bother to tell pet owners that their dog is overweight anymore because people react so poorly and take offense to a vet simply trying to help their dog!

It's easy to project emotions onto our dogs like "my dog will die without that extra biscuit or treat" ... "just look at his/her eyes ... how can I resist?", and then we get offended when we are told that what we are doing is harming our dog.

On the flip side, we as a society have become so used to seeing overweight dogs that people often falsely accuse someone that has a dog with a perfect body score as being underweight or skinny.

Below is a body scoring chart to help you know what the ideal weight should look and feel like for a dog.  This body scoring is relevant regardless of breed. There are, however, some exceptions for example:

 

-- A growing puppy may be slimmer or more chubby depending on their stage of growth.

 

-- Intact dogs (not spayed or neutered) are often slimmer than dogs that have been altered (spayed and neutered).

 

-- Elderly dogs may be overweight from a decrease in exercise or underweight if there is an underlying medical issue.

 

It is always best to confirm with your vet if your dog is at an ideal weight or if he/she needs to gain more weight or shed a few pounds.

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