Summer Slimdown - How to Tell if Your Dog Should Lose a Few Pounds

Summertime may be all about attaining beach body perfection for us humans, but it’s also a good time to conduct a weight check on our pets.

According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, approximately 56 percent of dogs are clinically overweight. However, most pet parents aren’t sure if their dog falls in this less-than-braggable category, so we put together some tips to help you determine if your dog may need a little help reaching his summer body goals.

  • Look for your dog’s ribs. If you can’t see them easily your pet could be overweight. Surprisingly, seeing your dog’s ribs can mean they are at a healthy weight. When you press on a dog’s rib cage, you should feel a thin layer over the ribs, but if you have to press extra hard to get there, your dog could be tipping the scales.

  • Weight is not the only factor. Just like a person’s ideal weight is related to their height and sex, a dog’s ideal weight can be determined by a number of factors such as gender, body frame, breed, etc. While weight standards can be a helpful guide, the number on the scale may not be telling you the entire truth.

  • Determine your pet’s body condition score. There are various websites that can help you find out your dog’s body condition score complete with sample images and a step-by-step guide. Scales can vary from one to five or one to ten and a pet with an ideal weight should resemble a picture in the middle number range.

If you determine that your pet may be a little plump, talk to your vet about ways to reduce their caloric intake and increase exercise. Hiring a walker through Wag! is a great way to ensure your pet is getting exercise for that beach body.