Q: Does my dog weigh too much?

June 27, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2035 days ago

Mary T.

I have a feeling my dog is getting obese, but it’s hard to tell under all that shaggy hair. Is there a BMI (body mass index) for dogs?

Chosen Answer

You can find out easily if your dog weighs too much. The “look and feel” method of body-condition assessment will make your dog feel pampered while you find hidden flab.

Run your hands, from stem to stern, over your dog’s body (fingers combing through all that fur if you have to) starting at the chest. With a dog of ideal weight, you should easily be able to palpate (feel) the ribs. Continue this “massage” along the abdomen (the “waist” of a dog) and on to the hips. A dog of ideal weight should have an hourglass shape, slimmest at the abdomen/waist, when looked at from above.

Better than a canine BMI, charts that outline dogs’ “body condition” (from too-thin to way-too-thick) are at food makers’ web sites, such as Purina’s here: www.purina.com/dogs/health/bodycondition.aspx.

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