How can I tell if my dog is overweight?
Maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the most important factors for the overall wellness of your dog. It directly influences the optimum function of everything from joint health to organ operation 1 .
Unfortunately, Australia is facing an overweight dog epidemic. The Australian Veterinary Association estimates that upwards of 40% of dogs are either overweight or obese 2.
So how do you know if your dog is the right weight? It’s a question that many dog owners are asking, and it’s not always straightforward to answer. For at home checks, we recommend a quick and easy visual inspection 3, to determine if your dog is the right weight.
Visual inspection guide
Ideal body weight
- Ribs should be easy to feel, covered by a small layer of fat.
- From the side, there is a clear tuck in at waist
- From above, there is a slight define in the waistline
- Ribs are hard to find on touch
- From the side, stomach line appears flat from the front legs to back legs
- From above, little or unpronounceable waist definition
- Little to no fat on ribs. In extreme cases, ribs are visible
- From the side, an exaggerated tuck in at the waist
- From above, an extremely defined waistline with an hourglass shape
1 The Kennel Club: Managing your dog’s weight. Retrieved from: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/770255/managing_your_dogs_weight.pdf
2 Australian Veterinary Association: Pet Obesity. Retrieved from: http://www.ava.com.au/news/media-centre/hot-topics
3 The European Pet Food Industry Federation (2016): Nutritional Guidelines for Complete and Complementary Pet Food for Cats and Dogs