- Feel your dog’s ribs, base of tail, and spine.
- If you can feel bones fairly easily, the dog is just right (there should be a little fat over the areas, but you should still be able to easily feel each one).
- If you can see the ribs, the dog is underweight.
- If you can’t feel the ribs or can’t feel each individual rib, the dog is fat.
- Stand over your dog and look down. You should be able to see a defined waist behind the ribs. If your dog looks bony, he is too thin. If you can’t see a waist he is overweight. The further his sides extend beyond his hips and ribs, the more obese, the worse, he is.
- View your dog from the side. A healthy dog will have what is called an “abdominal tuck,” meaning that the abdominal area just behind the ribs is smaller than the chest. Some breeds have a more distinct abdominal tuck than others, but all dogs should have it. If your dog’s belly is at the same level as his ribs when viewed from the side, he is overweight.
What are the risks of dog obesity? The effects of canine obesity are very serious. It puts your dog in a constant state of low-level, chronic inflammation and leaves him vulnerable to a variety of diseases including:
- Limited mobility
- Diabetes mellitus
- Heart disease
- All types of cancers
- Difficulty breathing
- Urinary bladder stones
- Complications with anesthetic
- Affected joints experience increased degeneration
“The effects of canine obesity are very serious.”
Think your pup is obese? Share your next steps below!