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Is My Dog Fat?

June 4, 2011

Our pup is still growing and I can tell when he plays that he is getting stronger, but he gained 2 pounds in 10 days, so I figured I better find out if that was too much too fast. The simple answer is that there are no good answers when it comes to the speed of puppy weight gain.

We are still feeding him twice what you would an adult dog. He eats so fast that he swallows air and gets gas. Free-feeding was working better, but I have been dogsitting and the other dog (mini schnauzer/lab mix) is overweight.

I found the best graph on dog obesity at dog-food-zone.com. I was in stitches laughing at the fat dog aerial:

Scary truth is that research indicates that 47% of dogs are overweight. It’s no wonder that hip issues and diabetes in pets are rampant. Dog lovers should note that research also proved that skinny dogs lived one year longer than average and had fewer joint problems.

Worse, 83% of fat-dog owners had no idea that their dog was fat (StopCanineObesity.com). People don’t know what a healthy dog is suppose to feel like.  Dogs don’t have a protective layer of fat like a seal. Dog skin is thin. The test below helped me better understand my dog. I got him to lay on his side and administered this comparison test.

The Fist Comparison Test:

Make a fist and then run your fingers across the back of your hand. Feel the bones. Then run your fingers across the top of your knuckles and finally back and forth across the base of your fingers.  Now rub the side of your dog’s ribcage, closer to the waist. If it feels like the back of your hand, your dog is overweight. If more like your knuckles, your dog may be underweight. If similar to your fingers, your dog’s weight is probably just right.

If your dog sits around the house all day waiting for you to come home, it will not need as much food as the rural dog that runs around all day. I appeal to the pet food companies: Help us! Print 2 measures, one for city dogs that laze during the day and one for active dogs that run or work on farms most days.

Tips:

If you are treating your dog and your dog is fat, buy the smelliest low fat treats.

If you are treating, reduce your dog’s kibble accordingly. Your dog will not be offended or notice. They always act hungry, as a rule.

Your dog SHOULD eat all their food immediately when put down. If not they could be sick, the food is bad, or you are OVERFEEDING.

Dogs are naturally scavengers and hunters. They will always act like they are starving, don’t let them fool you. If your dog acts full, suspect OVERFEEDING.

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