- You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs but not see them with the exception for coursing breeds. There should be only a thin layer of fat separating the skin from the bones. If there is excess fat covering the ribs, he/she is overweight. If the ribs are under a heavy fat covering, he/she is obese.
- While standing over your dog, you should be able to see an hourglass figure where there is an indentation at the waist from behind the ribs to just before the hips. Breeds differ but if you can’t tell where the waist begins, he/she is probably overweight.
- Looking at your dog’s side profile, you should see the stomach tuck beginning just behind the last ribs and going up into the hind legs.
- Ask your veterinarian to evaluate your pooch’s size at every check-up. Once your canine reaches maturity, ask for his optimal weight. As a rule of thumb, 15% above that weight is obese; zero to 15% is overweight.
- Cut off all table scraps if that has been on your dog’s “menu”.
- No more treats with sugar. Watch for ingredients such as corn syrup and sugar on the label.
- Portion control. Refer to the label on the bag of dog food for your dog’s size and portion.
- How old is your dog? Older dog needs a different blend of dog food than when he/she was younger. Good idea to check with your vet.
- Here are some great information from WebMD on diet plan. Overweight Dogs and Canine Weight Loss Diets
Jane R. Bicks, The Complete Guide to Nutrition and Health, 1999.
Overweight dogs and canine weight loss diet, http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/overweight-dogs-and-canine-weight-loss-diets , retrieved 7/10/2012