Is Your Dog Too Heavy, Too Thin, or Just Right? 3 Steps to Determine Your Dog’s Ideal Weight
You want your dog to be healthy. And just as it’s important for people to maintain a healthy weight, it’s also important for dogs.
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help ensure they live a long, healthy, happy life, with a lower risk of health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
When you’re looking at another person, it’s usually pretty obvious if they’re too thin, too heavy, or just right. But when it comes to a dog...what exactly is a healthy weight? It's not always obvious on first glance.
That’s why we wrote this blog post.
To help you out, we’ve created an infographic (at the bottom of this post) that you can use as a handy reference guide. Before we get to that, however, here are a few pointers to help you get a better idea if your dog needs to lose weight...or gain it.
Step 1: Feel The Ribs
The first thing you should do is gently rub your hands along your dog’s ribs. How do they feel? Are they covered by body fat? If so, how much?
Step 2: Look From Above
Next, look down on your dog from above. Pay attention to how visible the bones are. Can you see your dog’s ribs, pelvis bones, or vertebrae? Can you see your dog’s waistline (where the torso gets thinner just after the ribs)?
Step 3: Look From The Side
Finally, look at your dog from a side angle. Here you’ll want to look for some of the same things you saw in the top-down view, such as whether or not you can see the ribs, pelvis, etc. You’ll also want to look out for an “abdominal tuck,” which simply means that your dog’s abdomen tucks upward near the rear legs.
Signs That Your Dog Is Underweight
If your dog’s bones are prominent—not just visible but visible from a distance—then your dog may be underweight. Pay attention to the ribs and pelvis bones specifically.
Also remember to take a closer look at your dog’s musculature and body fat. Look for an obvious loss of muscle mass and very little (if any) body fat over the ribs.
Finally, look at your dog’s waist and abdomen. Having a visible waist and abdominal tuck is a good thing...but if they have an exaggerated appearance, that could be another sign of malnourishment.
(Keep in mind the ideal waist or abdominal tuck can vary from one breed to the next, so be sure to keep that in mind when evaluating your dog’s weight.)
Signs That Your Dog Is Overweight
If your dog’s ribs are covered with noticeable body fat, that’s a pretty clear sign that your dog may be overweight. Dogs that are too heavy are often liable to be missing a visible waist or abdominal tuck.
At more severe levels of obesity, your dog may start to develop fatty deposits on the neck & limbs and show signs of obvious abdominal swelling. This is a clear sign that your dog needs to lose some weight.
Signs That Your Dog Is At An Ideal Weight
So what’s the ideal? What should you be shooting for?
Ideally you will be able to feel your dog’s ribs. They won’t be too prominent, but they won’t be too hidden either. They’ll have a little bit of fat covering them, but not too much.
There should be a visible waist and abdominal tuck.
Keeping your dog at a weight like this will help them live long, healthy lives. They’ll be more likely to be active and energetic and less likely to develop health complications.
Add Healthy Weight with Miracle Vet!
Do you think your dog might be underweight? If so, don’t feel bad—this is FAR more common than you might realize.
And luckily, now there’s an easy and healthy way to bulk up your malnourished dog (without filling them up with empty calories).
The answer is Miracle Vet!
Every one of our all-natural, veterinarian-approved products has been formulated to be as healthy as possible for your dog. So if your dog needs to gain weight, be sure to check out some of these specific Miracle Vet products:
Miracle Vet Dog Food is an all-natural food that’s packed with nutrition and protein. Dogs love the unique whitefish- and duck-based food!
Our Miracle Vet High-Calorie Chews are perfect for walks or long days away from home. Just pop a chew out of the bag and feed it to your dog—think of it like a canine protein bar.
Finally, for our underweight or malnourished dogs, our Miracle Vet All-Natural Weight Gainer is a lifesaver. This high-calorie liquid is an easy way to add healthy calories to your dog’s diet. Just add a few drops to your dog’s food or water—no mixing or shaking necessary.
I hope you found this post helpful in figuring out your dog’s ideal weight! For easy reference, here’s a handy infographic that should be useful: