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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 does one know if they have an overweight or underweight dog? This is a complicated question for the average dog owner. Just like the human body, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, short and flat, long and thin, boxy bodies and legs. Figuring out the right weight to fit each frame can be daunting. Here are signs to help you know how to judge the weight ratio of some typical dog breeds: Retrievers, Terriers, Poodles, Spaniels, Shih Tzus. Important areas to check are the ribs, hips, pelvis and abdomen.
Signs that your dog is overweight:
Chunky Monkey -A dog without a waist- Your dog should not look like a wiener dog unless he is one.
Marshmallow – If you can’t feel your dog’s spine, hips or ribs under gentle pressure and instead feel only soft fat.
duck -A waddling dog with folds on the sides and waist that roll when the dog walks.
rotund -If the belly rolls past the navel area, that’s where the belly starts to pull up and into the hips.
Signs that your dog is underweight include:
The Girdle– The dog’s pelvis appears to be absorbed under vacuum pressure
Twiggy – The hips, ribs and spine can be seen or felt with any pressure palpation
Parachute – There is extra skin at the bottom of the waist
Signs your dog is the perfect weight:
· Waist width is 1.2 to 1.3 times greater than neck width
· The sides of the dog do not move or roll when the dog moves or runs
· You cannot see the pelvis, ribs or spine, but can feel them with mild pressure
· The dog’s belly pulls into the pelvis and does not roll outward or excessively.
Patience and a little experimentation can be helpful when finding the perfect weight for your dog. Your veterinarian is the best resource when researching how much and what type of food to feed your dog. You are the one who lives with your dog from day to day and you see if there is a change in weight when you change the diet and/or exercise regimen. Whatever you choose, make these changes in moderation. If you increase exercise in your dog’s life, make sure his nails are trimmed back to a usable length.
If you think your dog is a ‘puny monkey’, check with your vet first to rule out various diseases that affect some breeds more than others (such as Cushing’s disease), which can make a dog appear overweight when it’s not. . This guide will work for most dogs. For ‘thoroughbred dogs’ such as Great Danes, Whippets and Greyhounds, use the scale for underweight dogs as their ideal weight. If your dog seems to be wearing a coat, try giving him more food, increasing his intake by ¼, 1/2 or 1 cup more night and day depending on the small, med or large breed dog. It is common for intact dogs to remain on the thin side. There are many dietary supplements available in the market to increase appetite. Veterinarian guidance and experimentation are the keys to dog weight change.
Find out where your dog’s weight falls. See a veterinarian if you have any questions. Make adjustments appropriate for your dog’s age. Experiment with changing your dog’s diet and exercise program slightly once a week. Check out the 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, cut back on the marshmallows and let Twiggy live in memory, keep your dog’s weight ‘just right’. The time you gain with him will outweigh the inconvenience and effort it may cost you.
Copyright 2010 DuAnn Lustig Chambers
Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you print author information and keep all links active.
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