The importance of the dog’s ideal weight – PLAY

Wouldn’t it be easy if you could simply weigh your dog and instantly know that he is the right weight, the right size and that he is perfectly healthy? Well, it doesn’t really work that way. For purebred dogs, the American Kennel Club has a weight chart you can follow. There you can see the ideal weight for male and female dogs, by breed.

But what happens if you have a mixed breed dog? You can’t judge a dog’s healthy weight by just a single number. Additionally, the size chart offers a range. Is your dog healthier if he or she is average? What if it’s just at the lower limit? Or at the upper limit?

For some dogs, even a pound or two can look different and have a significant impact on health. For example, a purebred Chihuahua can look and live a different life with just one extra pound.

Why is it difficult to know if your dog is the ideal weight?

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular dog breeds and see their range on offer. For example, the German Shepherd. The AKC breed standard sets the weight range between 65 and 90 pounds for an adult male dog. That’s a huge difference, right?

Or the Labrador Retriever, for example. The AKC suggests a range between 65 and 80 pounds. This represents a difference of almost 23 percent. And this can vary depending on whether you have a male dog or a female dog.

Simply put, looking at the breed’s size and growth curve is not the best way to judge a dog’s health.

And the dogs?

In recent years, we have seen a rise in power mixed breed dogs who have the genetics of two different breeds. Sometimes they can have genetics from three different breeds.

The Poodle is a popular choice for breed mixes because of its hypoallergenic coat. Other popular choices include the Chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, Labrador Retriever, American Pit Bull terrier, and more.

So how do you know what the ideal dog weight is for your Goldendoodle, Puggle, Cockapoo, Maltipoo, Bernedoodle, etc.? ?

Unfortunately, there is no clear reference for every dog. And mixed breeds can have an even wider range. For example, when you mix a small breed of dog with a large breed of dog.

Understanding the Dog Weight Chart

The good news is that you can visually check your dog’s weight and see if your puppy is average weight, healthy weight, or underweight.

Severe underweight

– You notice that your dog looks bony when you look at him from afar

– Loss of muscle mass is evident

– Body fat is not visible under the skin

– You can see the ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones under the skin

Underweight

– You can easily feel your dog’s ribs

– Your dog’s ribs may be visible under the skin

– There is no visible body fat when touching the skin

– You can see other bony areas under the skin

– When looking from above, the size is clearly visible

– When looking from the side, the abdomen is noticeably upturned

Ideal weight

– You can feel your dog’s ribs without excess fat covering them

– Your dog’s ribs may or may not be visible

– Looking at your dog from above, you can see the size behind the ribs

– Looking from the side, the abdomen is rolled up and does not rise directly towards the legs

Overweight

– You can’t feel your dog’s ribs because of the fat covering them

– You may notice fatty deposits at the base of the tail and in the lumbar area

– Your dog’s waist is either missing or barely visible

– You notice an abdominal fold

Severely overweight

– There are massive fatty deposits on the chest, from your dog’s neck down to the abdomen and base of the tail

– Waist and abdominal fold are absent

– You may feel fatty deposits when you touch your dog’s neck and paws

– Your dog’s abdomen is visibly distended and hanging

What to do?

If your dog falls into the severely underweight or severely overweight category, you need to take drastic action. If your dog falls into the underweight or overweight category, small changes can make a difference. To begin with, you should consult a veterinarian.

– For underweight dogs, explore the reasons why your dog is not at average weight and increase their calorie intake in a healthy way. For example, increasing portion sizes and adjusting meal frequency. Or switch to a higher-calorie food

– For overweight dogs, slowly increase exercise and play into your puppy’s daily routine, reduce the amount of treatssnacks and human food, and limit your dog’s diet

Can you calculate your puppy’s ideal weight?

Over the past few years, many attempts have been made to find another way to calculate your puppy’s ideal weight. For what? Well, because Staffordshire Terriers and Border Collies may have a close litter, but they look completely different. For example, the Staffordshire terrier should weigh between 28 and 38 pounds according to the AKC standard. And the Border Collie between 30 and 55 pounds.

But you look at the Staffordshire terrier and you notice a muscular, powerful body. The Collie looks much more athletic. So instead of comparing your dog’s weight to a generic chart, veterinarians have come up with a better method.

This is the Body Condition Index, a popular tool for estimating the amount of body fat. Evaluated on a 9-point scale, dogs must obtain a score between 4 and 5.

A dog with a score of 1 to 3 on the body condition score is underweight, while a score between 6 and 7 implies an overweight dog.

You can assess BCS by examining the ribs, abdomen, and waistline by sight and then by touch. The four criteria are:

– The ease with which the ribs are palpable

-How obvious is the waistline and abdomen?

– How much excess fat is under the skin

– What is the muscle mass present

You can find calculators online and easily calculate your dog’s weight. These calculators take into account the breed standard, your dog’s actual weight and actual size.

For example, a German Shepherd who is 24 inches tall and weighs 70 inches will have a score of 3. This is generally a healthy weight, but a little underweight.

Why should you pay attention to your dog’s weight?

Several studies have examined the role of obesity in the lifespan of dogs. And according to most themOverweight dogs live two to two and a half years less than dogs at a healthy weight.

So, if you want your dog to have a long and prosperous life, it is important that you pay attention to its weight and size.

How to help your dog maintain its ideal weight?

Let’s finish by talking about several tips on how you can help your pup maintain an ideal dog weight.

– Pay attention to portion control and measure portions based on height, age and activity level.

– Provide a balanced diet, consisting of high quality, nutritious foods

– Avoid excessive treats, table scraps and high-calorie snacks

– Engage your dog in regular physical sessions activityand always stay within the upper limit of your dog breed’s exercise needs.

– Avoid free feeding, never leave food out all day

– Teach your dog to avoid begging for food

– Engage your dog in mentally stimulating activities like puzzle toys that will reduce anxiety and prevent boredom.

– Be consistent within the family. All the rules we mentioned apply to all family members


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