Many pet owners are unable to recognize their dog is overweight and according to some recent studies, more than 54% of the dog population is overweight. Being overweight and obese can shorten your pet’s life and lead to a host of health issues, such as diabetes, heart conditions, and even risk your dog’s risk of developing cancer.
With most of the population overweight and their owners in denial, if you’re a pet owner, you may want to give your dog a second, serious look. While jumping on a scale with you and without your pooch will give you his weight, what does that number mean? Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s no ideal weight for all dogs to be in their size class. So, how do you evaluate your dog’s weight?
The easiest way to tell if your pup is overweight is to give him the knuckle test. The Knuckle test is simple. You’re going to run your hand along your dog’s rib cage to gauge his body weight. Before you start, you must know how your dog’s rib cage should feel. Make a loose fist and run your other hand over the knuckles of your fist. Now, run your hand along your dog’s rib cage. Do your dog’s ribs feel like your knuckles?
Can’t you feel your dog’s ribs at all? Chances are you can’t see them either. This is a good sign your dog is overweight, needs less food, and more exercise. However, you want to be careful his ribs are not too visible, and the rib cage is not too prominent. If you can see the entire rib cage and feel the deep groves of his ribs, you may need to up his food intake or talk to your vet.
I can be hard to make changes for your dog. We love to spoil them with treats and make sure they have enough to eat. Just keep in mind that you may be killing your dog with kindness, quite literally.