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HOW TO TELL IF YOUR DOG IS A HEALTHY WEIGHT

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Most dog owners believe in using the scale to measure a dog’s weight. However, this is not enough to determine if your dog has the ideal weight for its build. There is no specific number for the ideal weight that a dog should have. The ideal weight of a dog varies depending on its height, species and daily physical activity.

 

It’s easy to tell if a dog is underweight or overweight by looking at them from above or, simply, by feeling.

If the hip bones are very visible, then your dog may be underweight. Also, if it’s easy to feel the ribs of the dog, then the dog is most probably underweight. Every dog species and size has their predefined weight that is regarded as ideal. Therefore, before ruling out whether your dog is overweight or not, it’s advisable to have a look at the predefined weight and characteristics of an ideal weight dog first.

Dogs with an ideal weight have belly tucked up between the hind legs and the ribs. The ribs are also not very visible, compared to an underweight dog. The coat above the ribs is usually smooth. When looking from above, there is a gentle curve between the ribs and the hind legs. Underweight dogs have a deep curve while overweight dogs have a slight bulge at this section. When you feel the coating of an overweight dog, it’s thicker compared to the smooth lining on the ideal weight dog and the clearly visible ribs in an underweight dog.

WHAT CAUSES DOGS TO LOSE WEIGHT?

There are a number of reasons as to why your dog could be underweight. It is possible that you could be feeding your dog with all the right foods but he won’t gain weight. Here are some of the reasons as to why your dog is underweight;

Insufficient diet

The main cause of dogs being underweight is the lack of proper diets to suit their needs. Every dog has a specific dietary needed, and if it’s not met, your dog can’t gain weight. Also, serving your dog with one type of food deprives him of some nutrients not found in these foods. It’s advisable to combine different types of foods. Make sure you feed your dog enough times per day and feed him with the right foods according to his needs.

Parasites

Another reason as to why your dog could be losing weight is if he has parasites, especially intestinal parasites. Dogs can’t feed as required when they have parasites. This is because they disrupt the feeding habits of the dog making them eat less.

 

Other causes of weight loss in dogs are diseases such as Diabetes, Teeth problems, Medications, Cancer among others. If your dog is losing weight, despite your feeding efforts, you should visit your vet and have him run some tests and propose the proper diet for your dog. Underweight dogs face the risk of developing metabolism complications, so their weight should be highly monitored until the proper diet is identified.

 

WHAT CAUSES DOGS TO GAIN WEIGHT?

The main cause of weight gain in dogs is usually feeding too much and less physical activity for dogs. Also, if you fed your dog with the wrong food, such as foods with a high calorie intake for a less active dog, you care causing weight gain. However, being overweight is not necessarily related to food.

Some dogs suffer from Hypothyroidism or the lack of enough thyroid hormone. Without this hormone, the metabolic activities of the body are slowed down. Cushing’s disease is also a cause of weight gain where it converts the dog’s muscle mass to fat and retention of water and gas (bloating). Some prescription drugs such as Prednisone, leads to weight gain in dogs.

 

HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT IN DOGS

In order to maintain a healthy weight in dogs, you need to identify the cause of weight gain or weight loss. If the issue is overfeeding, you can gradually reduce the amount of food you give to your dog and also exercise to increase the metabolism rate. If you’re underfeeding your dog, increase the amount of food, gradually, not at once until you experience some weight gain. In the case of giving wrong foods, consult your vet and research on the ideal amount of food for your dog. The calorie intake for dogs varies according to the breed, size, age and physical activity of the dog.

If the weight gain or weight loss is being caused by medication or a certain disease, consult your vet on the proper treatment and change of medication to ensure your dog maintains a healthy or ideal weight.

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