Believe it or not, it is easy to determine if your dog is overweight or obese. There are three steps to complete while doing a body score check at home.
- Feel for ribs. Run your fingers along the ribs, both sides, and see how easily you can palpate the ribs. Ideally, it should feel like you are running your fingers over pencils in a breast pocket. It is very important to use your hands as looking will not determine if your dog is overweight since their coat may make a visual check very difficult.
- Check the waist. The next step is to feel for a nice waistline. An overweight dog won’t have an hourglass shape when you look down from above and you can feel that by running your hands along the rubs.
- Take a side view. The last thing that you are looking for is called a tummy-tuck. When you view your pet from the side, you want the tummy to tuck up backwards towards the hind legs. You do not want your dog to have a “hanging belly”.
If the body check indicates that your four-legged friend is overweight ore obese, it is time to make some changes. You will need to take a closer look at the routine and habits in which you have established for your dog. Keep in mind that your dog will need to burn more calories than they consume, otherwise, they will continue to look the same and not make any progress. You may need to take a closer look at their diet by reducing calories, limiting treats, and incorporating food which provide balanced nutrition. Your veterinarian may need to develop a holistic dietary plan as well.