Tips to Assess your Dog’s Physique

Posted on June 17, 2015 under Dog Topics

A thin dog and an overweight dog sit next to each other.

By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a pet health insurance agency for dogs and cats.

Not sure if your dog is too thin or how about if your dog is packing extra weight? Assess your dog’s physique by following these steps:

1. Stand in front of your standing dog. Exam her body profile. She should have a clearly defined abdomen slightly tucked up behind her rib cage.

2. Stand over your standing dog. Most healthy canines have an hourglass shape and you should be able to see her waist.

3. Gently run your fingers over your dog’s backbone and spread your hands across her rib cage. You should be able to feel each rib.

The results

Obese dogs: Fat deposits are readily visible on the neck, limbs, base of tall and spine.

Overweight dogs: The waist is barely visible and you can see fat deposits over the lumbar area and base of the tail. You can feel the ribs, but just barely.

Fit dogs: You can feel the ribs without a lot of fat covering. Looking from the side, you can see the abdomen tucked up and you will see the hourglass shape when you look over your dog.

Too-thin dogs: Her ribs, pelvic bones and lumbar vertebrae protrude out and are highly visible.

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