Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How fat is your dog ?

Many dog owners do not often care on the above question as long as they are healthy or fat enough. The worrying part is often seen in pet owners when the dog is below the ideal weight level i.e. dogs start becoming thin. Now when you ask a vet like me about which worrying is appropriate, the answer would be both. Idealism in everything is the best and that implies to dog's body weight too. Now vets will ask you to maintain your pets weight in an ideal level as far as possible by balancing its diet and exercise. What exactly is an ideal weight for your dog ? This article is trying to help you sort out this question.

Dogs around the world come in different sizes. From a toy breed Chihuahua which may weigh as less as 2 pounds to St. Bernard which may weigh up to 190 pounds in normal condition the weight range of canines is wide. As such, one chart of dogs weight to classify thin, healthy and fat dogs will be insufficient. Taking weight as a parameter to classify also does not seem correct. To simplify this job, the body condition of dogs is divided into 9 stages according to Purina body condition system. You can observe your dog and find out how ideal his body weight condition is.

Evaluating your dog's weight

How skinny is "pretty skinny"? How heavy is "not as thin as he should be"? The Purina body condition system provides a uniform way to describe a pet's weight, from "emaciated" to "grossly obese"

    Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominence evident from a distance. No discernable body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass.
    Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible. No palpable fat. Some evidence of other bony prominence. Minimal loss of muscle mass.
  3. THIN
    Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.
    Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.
  5. IDEAL
    Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked when viewed from the side.
    Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernible viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.
  7. HEAVY
    Ribs palpable with difficulty, heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be absent.
  8. OBESE
    Ribs not palpable under heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distension may be present.

P.S.: Chart and information courtesy of Ralston Purina


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