Dog Weight Management: Tips to Achieve an Ideal Weight for Dogs
Dog Weight Management: Tips to Achieve an Ideal Weight for Dogs

Dog Weight Management: Tips to Achieve an Ideal Weight for Dogs

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Just like in humans, obesity can lead to serious health issues in dogs as well. The primary causes of obesity in dogs are lack of physical activities, imbalanced diet, and overfeeding. If you notice a sudden increase in your dog’s weight despite having a normal diet and sufficient exercise, it could also be a sign of some hormonal disorder. Obese dogs are at risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases, bone deterioration, arthritis, and other severe disorders. Thus, it is crucial to monitor your dog’s weight.


Understanding Your Dog’s Weight Category 

Wondering what is the ideal weight for dogs? A dog’s healthy weight can differ from breed to breed; hence, you can consult your vet to understand the right weight range for your pet. However, the below dog weight chart will help you get an idea on whether your furry friend is underweight, healthy, or obese.  


                                                                                                      Weight Management — Laytonsville Veterinary Practice

Underweight: You can clearly see an underweight dog’s ribs, spine, and hip bone. There is zero body fat and that can be seen on its body. In dogs who are genetically thin, the loss of muscle mass may be evident.

Ideal: You can easily feel the ribs, spine and hips of a dog that falls in an ideal weight category. Its waist should also be visible from above and the side. The last couple of ribs may be visible on a short-coated dog while playing or exercising, which is normal.

Overweight: A dog is considered overweight when it weighs 10-20% more than its ideal body weight. It is difficult to feel the ribs of these dogs. The fat accumulation is also visible at the base of its tail and on the belly. Its back also starts to appear broader. It is advisable to start working on shedding the extra kilos your dog has gained at this stage.

Obese: A dog is considered overweight when it weighs 20% more than its ideal weight. You cannot feel its ribs at all due to the heavy fat accumulation. Fat deposits are also visible around the dog’s neck and its belly also starts to droop.

How to measure dog’s weight 

You can measure your dog’s weight at home if your dog is a small breed. Here are the steps to follow while measuring the weight of your dog at home: 

  1. Step 1 – Stand on the weighing scale and take note of your weight.  
  2. Step 2 – Carry your dog securely and stand on the weighing scale. Take note of the combined weight that the scale indicates.  
  3. Step 3 – Subtract your weight from the combined weight to know how much your dog weighs.  

These steps should not be followed by those who have medium or large breed dogs. The size of your dog could make it difficult for you to hold it properly, and if it starts fidgeting, the handler or the dog could get injured. Hence, owners of medium and large breed dogs should go to the vet to weigh their pet. 

How to keep your dog at a healthy weight?

You can easily manage your dog’s weight and maintain the ideal weight of your dog if you follow a regime and take the necessary steps. Here’s are some things you should keep in mind during your dog’s weight management:


Avoid feeding home-cooked foods

Dogs remain healthy if their food quantity is controlled and they are fed on time. But you should avoid feeding your dog home-cooked food. Wondering why? It is because home-cooked meals might not have the right nutrients in the right quantities and that can later affect your furry friend’s overall health. Hence, to keep such risks at bay, it is best that you avoid feeding home-cooked food. In case you plan on giving your dog home-cooked meals, it is imperative that you follow the recipe to the T. 


Refrain from sharing food with your dog

Your dog is your friend so, it's hard not to share your delicious bacon or a mouthful of steak with it. When your dog sits next to you and makes those adorable puppy-dog eyes as you eat, it becomes even more difficult to not share some of your food with it. But you must resist. Giving “human food” greatly increases your dog’s fat intake. It also conditions the dog to believe that it will be fed every time you eat. 


Follow an exercise plan

Exercise is a great way to keep your dog in shape. If you have a busy schedule, then you could break it down into short sessions to play fun games like tug-of-war or go for a quick jog with your dog. You could also play with a frisbee or start working on its agility. Dogs that get enough exercise are less likely to be stressed and this way, you would also get a break from your work. 


Do not overfeed dog treats

Of course, you want to reward a dog when it’s been a good boy or a good girl. But keep in mind that those dog treats can add calories and fat. And more importantly, think about how many types of treats and snacks you are feeding your dog and how often.


Check for health issues

Of course, you want to reward a dog when it’s been a good boy or a good girl. But keep in mind that those snacks can add calories and fat. And more importantly, think about how many types of treats and snacks you are feeding your dog and how often.


Choose a good pet food brand

There are lots of dog foods available in the market and each pack contains different quantities of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. You must go for foods that provide complete nutrition to your furry friend, and not just calories. Hence, it is necessary to opt for a pet food brand that specialises in dog nutrition.

At IAMS™, we have been focusing on bringing out the best in your dog through healthy food. Explore our range of dog food and choose a product that best suits your dog’s size and age. However, consult your vet regarding the serving size and other details. A vet will also provide you with the tips and tricks on keeping your dog’s weight under control.


Benefit of IAMS™ dog food

  • Balanced nutrition: Every IAMS™ product offers complete and balanced nutrition to your dog. It is loaded with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
  • Lip-smacking taste: IAMS™ dog foods are made with love to whet your furry friend’s appetite. Our products taste so good, your dog won’t leave a trace of it on the bowl.
  • Tailor-made: We have a range of dog foods, formulated specially for dogs of all ages and breed sizes. Since every dog breed has unique nutritional needs, it is imperative to ensure that you choose foods that offer the right amounts of nourishment to your dog per serving.

If you're looking for the perfect dog for you, try our Dog Breed Selector today and enjoy a lifetime of tail-wagging joy.

FAQs on keeping your dog’s weight in check

  1. How do I know if my dog’s weight is right? 
  2. If your dog has the ideal weight, you will see that its waist narrows down behind the ribs. When you look from above and see that the waist and ribs of your dog fall in one line or even if the waist is bulging out, it indicates that your dog is overweight. The dog weight chart in this article will help you identify if your dog is in good shape.


  3. Is it bad if I can feel my dog's spine?
  4. If your dog is in the ideal weight category, you will be able to feel its spine and ribs with a little fat. But if you can distinctly see its ribs and spine, and its waist also sharply dips behind the ribs, then it means that your dog is undernourished and needs to gain weight. 


  5. Can walking my dog help him lose weight?
  6. Yes, walking is one of the most efficient and wholesome exercises that will prove beneficial in helping your dog lose weight. 


  7. Why is my dog overweight but doesn't eat much?
  8. A sharp increase in the dog’s weight may cannot always be blamed on the amount of food it eats. On many occasions, it may be because of the change in your dog’s metabolism or hormonal disorders as well.  


  • How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies

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    Bringing a furry friend home is one of the greatest things you will do. If you are someone who has been longing for a furry companion, you should wait no more... however, only if you are confident that you can take complete care of this four-legged angel. Puppies need love and care, so as their caregivers, you need to help them grow into happy and healthy dogs.

    Stay by your pet’s side throughout its growing stage. This is that time of its life where you need to do more than just provide food, love, and fun times; you must understand dog nutrition, follow the vaccination schedule, and potty train your puppy. Sparing some time and energy to provide your pet with basic puppy care can help you build a loving relationship with your pooch. So, let us explore a few things you can look into while nurturing a puppy. This basic puppy care guide will also keep you informed with what to expect in the first few months of being a caregiver.

    • Bringing your puppy home

    Wondering what to know about taking care of a new puppy? Let us start with the most basic things like puppy proofing your house. That is right. Puppies and babies fall in the same category: delicate and fragile! You need to be careful about their surroundings and make sure that there is nothing hazardous around. Puppies are naturally curious. Make sure they do not encounter things like chemicals, electrical cords, harmful houseplants, valuables, and especially breakables. You also need to get necessary pup supplies like a feeding bowl, collar, leash, and more. Set up a cosy corner for your puppy to rest in!

    • Feeding your pooch

    Choosing the right puppy food is of paramount importance. You must pick out puppy food that is specifically formulated for growing puppies as it needs the right kind of nutrients to grow stronger. So, avoid adult dog food if your pet is still a pup.

    Not sure when to make a switch to adult dog food? Well, it totally depends on the breed size. If you have a small or medium breed dog, you can switch to dog food once it turns 9 to 12 months old. If you have a large breed dog, continue feeding puppy food until it turns 12 to 24 months old. Apart from that, make sure your pup always has access to fresh and clean water!

    This is what a typical puppy feeding schedule would look like: 

    • 6-12 weeks old: Four meals per day 
    • 3-6 months old: Three meals per day 
    • 6-12 months old: Two meals per day 

    At IAMS™, we offer a range of puppy as well as adult dog food that nourishes your furry friend with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other essential nutrients. Our products are made with premium-quality ingredients to ensure that your dog enjoys every bite of its food.

    • Vet visits and vaccinations

    Taking your furry friend to the vet is the most important part of taking care of a puppy. Your dog’s first visit to the vet will help you learn about your dog’s overall physical health. Vet visits will also keep you informed about the vaccination schedule.  In fact, it is recommended to make a list of all questions that you may have. This list should include topics like: 

    • Vaccination schedule 
    • Spaying or neutering 
    • Potty training 
    • Basic obedience training 
    • Any symptoms 
    • Diet and nutrition 
    • Deworming
    • Socialisation

    Puppies should meet a variety of different people, dogs, objects, and situations – all in a positive way. The most important time for pups to socialise is between three and 12 weeks of age, however, it should continue throughout a puppy’s development. As pet parents, you can take your pooch to puppy classes as it provides a great opportunity to socialise puppies.

    • Potty training

    You can get started with potty training from the day one. This will help inculcate basic bathroom manners in your dog and will save you from cleaning the floor every time your pooch excretes. So, pick a bathroom spot outside your house and take your pup to the same place whenever it is potty time. Praise it right after it is done. You can also reward it with treats. However, under no circumstances must a puppy be yelled at since it may ignite fear.

    The best way to train is to reward good behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour. It is never too early to begin training a puppy, but owners must remember that very young puppies become tired or distracted easily so training sessions should be kept to a short duration.

    • Oral care

    Dogs are prone to losing tooth, bad breath, and periodontal diseases. Moreover, they are good at hiding their dental pain. Hence, owners should introduce some form of oral care for their puppy as early as possible. Consult your vet to ensure that you pick the best dental care option for your pooch.

    • Exercise

    Amounts of exercise should be controlled for puppies during growth. They should not be forced to exercise beyond the amount of time they would engage in with another puppy of the same age. Moreover, your furry friend must be allowed to rest when they need to. So, instead of offering a one long playtime period, go for two short walks.