|April is NOT a healthy weight.|
The easiest rule of thumb to follow is: Can you feel their ribs? When you gently run your hand down their side, you should be able to just slightly feel all their ribs. Dogs should also have a waist that you can see from the side (you want to see a tuck after their ribs end) and the top.
|Jetta has a great tuck and narrow waist.|
Here is a great chart you can use to see if your dog is too thin, too heavy or just right. How does your dog rank? (I'd guess my dogs are both 5's... but Lacey is just squeaking into that category. My cat on the other hand is probably a 7 or 8 but we are working on that.)
|Can you see how Lacey's waist tucks in on the sides? That is a good thing.|
If you are feeding your dog kibble, don't just take the suggested amount on the side of the bag as gospel. It is just a suggestion. Every dog is different based on their metabolism and how much exercise they get. If the dog food company recommends feeding your dog 2 cups a day yet your dog is still on the heavy side, don't be afraid to feed less. The information on the bag is just a guideline. It may take some fine tuning to figure out exactly what is right for your dog, but with a little time you'll figure it out.
For example, my dog food suggests feeding my small dog anywhere from 1.25 - 2.5 cups (she gets 1.25 cups a day) and they suggest I feed my large dog 2.5 - 4.75 cups (she gets 3 cups a day). Notice that they both eat close to the lower suggestion even though they get a fair amount of exercise each day (45-60 minutes of off leash running) and aren't the minimum weight in their category. AND, I don't give out many treats and when I do, they are usually quite small.
|Even under his fur, you can tell Boone is nice and slender.|
|Once Sadie slows down, she'll have to eat less to maintain her little waist.|
|Even if Coulee's activity level isn't the same every day, she still gets the same amount of food. The days where she get's more exercise than usual just make up for those occasional lazy days.|
|Try not to give in to those pleading looks!|
If you have a very overweight dog and are debating putting him/her on a diet, please consult your vet to determine the safest way to do it!