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How To Tell If Your Dog’s Weight & Condition Are Healthy

Remember This: Your dog’s weight has a major effect on its health. If your dog weighs too much, its life could be shortened by up to two years. And being overweight will hurt its quality of life.

Not sure about your dog’s body type? Simply compare it to the medium build dog in this chart.

It will help you decide if your dog needs more or less food to get to its ideal weight.

Lightly built dog, German shorthaired pointer

Good condition, well muscled with a taut belly, and the last few ribs are faintly visible.
Overweight condition, with a layer of fat over much of the body, a distended belly and the ribs are not visible.
Good condition, viewed from above. The waist nips in behind the last rib.
Overweight condition, viewed from above. The body is thickened, with no visible waist.

Medium build dog, German shepherd dog

Good condition, with good muscle definition, a taut belly, and the last three ribs are visible.
Malnourished condition, with wasted muscles, the major bones are visible, and the belly is drawn up.
Good condition, with good muscle definition, a taut belly, and the last three ribs are visible.
Overweight condition, with a layer of fat over the body, a distended belly, and the ribs are not visible.
Good condition viewed from above. The waist nips in behind the last rib.
Overweight condition, viewed from above. The body is thickened, with no visible waist.

Heavy built dog, African Boerboel

Good condition, strongly muscled with a taut belly. The curve of the last rib is visible.
Overweight condition, with a layer of fat over the body, a distended belly and the ribs are not visible.
Good condition, strongly muscled with a taut belly. The curve of the last rib is visible.
Overweight condition, viewed from above. The body is thickened, with no visible waist.

To get your dog to its healthy condition, simply change the amount you feed it. For overweight dogs, start by halving its food portion until it has reached its normal weight. For malnourished dogs, reassess what and how much you feed. Your vet should look for possible underlying issues. If your dog is close to ideal, fine tune by changing food portions by 20%

Please go to stayloyal.com.au for more free dog care tips and our 5 star Rated Grain-Free Dog Food. Ilustration by Linda J. Shaw, shawlein.com

Copyright Stay Loyal. No part of this dog condition chart may be used without permission from Stay Loyal.

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