Pudgy puppies can be cute, but pet parents beware, overweight dogs are at a much higher risk for serious health issues. Did you know that around 93 million cats and dogs in the US are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
? That's almost 54%!Why Dog Weight Matters
Just like for people, a healthy weight promotes overall wellness. Dogs can avoid diseases like heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and arthritis by maintaining a proper weight.Find out more about how a healthy dog weight prevents disease
.So What Is My Dog's Ideal Weight?
Dogs range in size from teacup to tremendous, so of course their ideal weight will depend on their breed, and sometimes also their gender. A good rule of thumb is to run your fingers along your dog's sides: if the ribs are impossible to find, your dog is likely overweight, and if the ribs feel sharp to the touch, your dog could probably stand to gain some weight.Use this dog breed weight chart
to check your dog's weight against their breed's ideal weight.
Steps to Dog Weight Management1. Choose the best dog food:
Dog foods come in all types, some for helping puppies grow, some for giving large breeds extra supplements targeted to their needs, and more. Make sure your dog is getting the best food for their needs -- whether that's putting on or losing weight. Find out about nutrition for pet weight loss
and food to help pets gain weight
.2. Skip the Treats:
Don't feed your dog table scraps, and cut down on your dog's treats. You can always use love and affection to praise your dog for a job well done or for just being such a sweetie -- they may even like it more than a treat!3. Get Some Exercise:
Not surprisingly, exercise plays an important role in keeping your dog at their ideal weight. Walk, jog, play fetch, and play tug-of-war whenever you can. You may even find yourself getting fit with your dog.