Giving Dogs A New Leash On Life...One Click At A Time

Today is: Wednesday January 17, 2018

Weight problems in your dog

Obesity is the second leading disease in today's pet. Maintaining the ideal weight for your dog, will help keep him happy and healthy for a long time. You can help your dog avoid many of the health problems associated with obesity. Obesity is associated with increased risk to several medical conditions including, but not limited too: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, musculoskeletal (hips, back) dysfunction, arthritis, reproductive disorders, liver disease, dermatological problems, and increased risk for anesthesia.

The chart below should be used to determine if your dog's weight is healthy or not. Being too thin is just as dangerous as being too heavy. No matter what your starting point is, you should always aim to be in the normal range for your dog's weight. 

Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass.

Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences easily visible. No palpable fat. Minimal loss of muscle mass.


Ribs easily palpitated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.

Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from the side.


Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.

Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernible viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.


Ribs palpable with difficulty, heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be absent.

Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distension may be present.


Massive fat deposits over thorax, spine and base of tail. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and limbs. Obvious abdominal distension.

If your dog is not in the normal range, please talk to your vet before adjusting his food or exercise level. He may have health problems that are making him over or underweight. If your dog is determined to be healthy, after a thorough examination, your vet can advise you to the best food that you should feed your dog. As well as, the best amount of daily exercise needed to obtain your goal weight.

Helpful tips for successful weight loss

  • Follow the feeding diet that your vet recommends. Including, type, amount, time, or any other recommendations.

  • Don't feed your dog high calorie treats, table scraps, or "people" food.

  • If you have multiple pets, don't feed the one that is on a weight program with your other pets.

  • Feed your dog prior to you eating your own meal to help ward off begging.

  • Regular, moderate exercise will help your dog. Please ask your vet before starting a new exercise routine.

  • Weigh your dog regularly to track progress.

    This site and its contents are intended to serve as basic informational purposes 
     --not a substitute for-- 
    professional veterinary care!


Pet Loss

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