According to the Association for the Prevention of Obesity in Companion Animals, approximately half of urban dogs are overweight. Maintaining your ideal weight improves your health and significantly prolongs your life.
It has been found that pets kept at their proper weight live an average of 1.8 years longer than those who are overweight. This is almost two extra years, just to keep her in shape.
And how is the ideal weight of a dog calculated? A dog is obese when it exceeds its ideal body weight by 15%, however, it is not always easy to assess it. There are tables and standards that relate this parameter to each breed. For example, it is easy to find an ideal average weight for a Golden Retriever, which would be between 31 and 36 kg for a male. But, how to value these 5 kgs of difference? And what happens in the case of mongrel dogs? In addition, we must not forget that there is great variability between individuals, as we have commented in other posts, the dog is the species with the greatest differences in terms of constitutions, shapes, and sizes.
To keep our dog in optimal body condition, it is important that we record its weight periodically. As a reference, we will take the estimated weight that he should reach at the end of his growth.
A reliable and widely used method to assess the body condition of our pets uses observation and palpation to determine the degree of overweight. Different scoring systems can be used on three, five, or nine points. The thickness of the tissue around the rib cage, lumbar area, the base of the tail, and ventral abdomen are observed and palpated. If the dog is very thin, the ribs are easily seen, if the animal is of normal weight, they are difficult to see but easily palpable. If you are overweight, the ribs are not visible and a fat coating is palpable. So we will say that the dog is obese.
As we have already pointed out before, a dog has an ideal weight or body condition when the ribs are palpable without excess fat covering them, his abdomen is tucked in without being distended and we can easily see his waist behind the ribs.
In this way we will be able, together with a periodic control of its weight on a scale, to know if our dog is in an optimal body state, so important to preserve its good health.