As you toss another treat to your dog, you may notice that he is getting a little thicker around the middle. Those extra pounds that your pet has put on over the years are actually a serious health problem.
Just like people, obesity in dogs can lead to a wide range of health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. If you’re wondering about your pet’s weight, here are three checks you can try to see if he might be a little too chunky.
- Check his profile – Look at your dog at eye level. Does his tummy hang down below his rib cage? If so, he is a overweight. It should tuck up behind the rib cage.
- Check for bones – Put your thumbs on the spine and place your hands on your dog’s side. If you can feel his bones without pressing hard, your dog is not fat.
- Look at the top – Look at your dog from above. The dog should have a slight waist behind his ribs, but you should not be able to see the actual outline of the ribs. Without he waist, your dog is fat. If you see an intense waist and visible ribs, your dog is underweight.
If you do these tests and find that your dog is overweight, what can you do? First, talk to your vet about the best food to feed your pet. Often the problem is not too much food, but the wrong kind of food. Food with excess fillers can lead to weight problems. Then, make a commitment to get more exercise into your life. Both you and your pet will benefit from regular walks, and who knows, you might see your waistline shrink up a bit too.