Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog is crucial to his or her overall wellbeing and happiness. But since dogs can vary so much in size from breed to breed, how can you be sure that your pup is at a healthy weight? At Germantown Vet, we have some basic parameters for what is an unhealthy versus a healthy dog weight.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Dog Weights
For most dog breeds, you can use the chart below as an indicator for your dog’s weight; however, if you have questions about your dog’s diet and nutrition, make sure to speak to a professional at Germantown Vet!
If your dog is too thin, it runs the risk of being malnourished. An extremely thin dog may need the help of a professional veterinarian, so contact us immediately if your dog is very thin and/or isn’t eating.
Some indicators of a thin dog include:
- Ribs, spine, and pelvic bones are easily visible
- Limited or decreased muscle mass and no visible fat is present
- Severe waist indention and rub tucks are visible
Many dogs can become underweight if they are not eating enough in correspondence with their activity levels. It’s important to get your dog to a healthy weight (and increase his or her food intake) to ensure his or her wellbeing.
Some indicators of an underweight dog include:
- Ribs and spine are easily felt and can be seen
- There is a very minimal fat covering
- An obvious, defined waist is present when viewed from above
Ideal Weight Dog
When your dog is at an ideal weight, he or she will be more healthy and happy. This will reduce the chances of some illnesses and conditions that can be caused or worsened by being under- or overweight.
Some indicators of an ideal weight dog include:
- Ribs are not visible but are easily felt below the skin
- Visible waist indent is present when viewed from above
- Abdomen is tucked when viewed from the side
Overweight dogs can suffer from a wide range of illnesses and conditions, including diabetes, joint pain, arthritis, and more. Talk to your veterinarian today about managing your pet’s weight and getting on a diet and exercise plan.
Some indicators of an overweight dog include:
- Ribs are difficult to feel below the skin
- No waist is visible—potentially pear shaped when viewed from above
- The abdomen sags when viewed from the side
It is incredibly unhealthy to have your dog at an obese weight. It significantly increases his or her chances of getting the conditions listed above (diabetes, joint pain, arthritis, etc.), and it can also negatively affect his or her lifespan.
Some indicators of an obese dog include:
- Ribs are very difficult to feel below the skin, and there is a heavy fat covering
- There are fat deposits at the base of the tail and along the spine
- No waist is visible when viewed from above—potentially pear shaped
- The abdomen sags excessively when viewed from the side
Get Help Managing Your Dog’s Weight
Do you have an overweight or underweight dog? Get help from the experts at Germantown Vet. Visit our state-of-the-art facility in Germantown, MD, and we can assess your pet’s current weight and design a diet and exercise plan.
Images from petmd.com