Is My Dog Overweight?
Is your dog at his/her ideal weight? How can you tell? Make sure to keep an eye on your dog’s waistline. The amount your dog needs to eat will be less than what the bag tells you to feed. The bag gives a ball park amount but each dog’s caloric needs vary based on age, metabolism and energy level, exercise etc. Also, the dog food company is trying to sell dog food, so they may embellish the amounts on the back of the bag.
A Poopy Situation.
Another indication of if you are feeding the right type and amount of food is how many times a day your dog has a bowel movement. Generally speaking, most adult dogs poop twice a day (puppies more often). If your adult dog has more than this, it can be an indication that he is eating a brand with fillers or too large of a quantity. There are exceptions to this, such as a dog that is extremely active or has a really fast metabolism. Some experts believe that you should change brands once a year or so. Since no brand is perfect or has it all, this allows your dog to receive different levels of nutrients from a different brand.
The best way to know if your dog is getting the right amount of food is to ask your vet, trainer, or other pet professional. ASK! They won’t necessarily volunteer the information. Many people get offended and defensive when the vet tells them their dog is overweight. So they don’t always volunteer the information.
Once your dog is about 6-9 months old, if you look from above, can you see a waistline going in? This is difficult to see on a Husky or other very furry breed. Another way to measure: if you push gently on your dog’s ribcage with your palms flat, can you feel ribs? An overweight dog is likely to have more health problems, more trouble jumping into vehicles and moving in general, especially as they age. An overweight dog will age much faster and have a shortened lifespan. Don’t kill your dog with kindness!