How can I tell if my dog is overweight?

The ideal weight of your dog does depend on his/her breed although there is rarely one ideal weight for any single breed.

So how can you tell if your dog is carrying more weight than is healthy?

  • Place your hands on either side of your dog’s rib cage. You should find you can easily feel each rib individually. If you can’t then your four-legged friend is most likely overweight. On the other hand, if you find each rib is too pronounced or even protruding then your dog may be underweight instead.
  • The next step is to look at your dog from his/her side. Is the abdomen tucked in slightly? While this will be more visible in some breeds, your dog should have a waistline to some extent. An overweight dog won’t have a waistline (and in some cases the abdomen can drag somewhat) while an underweight dog will have a more pronounced abdomen tuck.
  • Feel for the bone at the base of your dog’s tail. You should find this relatively easily if your dog has a healthy weight.

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