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Happy Dog Blog

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Dog Weight

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Dog Weight

We all love our dogs. But as dogs will be dogs, they spend so much time exuding energy and happiness that it can be easy to overlook common health issues – such as weight.

Your dog’s weight can be directly related to energy levels and quality of life. Generally speaking, dogs that are fed to their ideal weight live several years longer from others in their litter. Finding and maintaining a target weight for your dog could be a lifesaver.

Follow these four steps to understanding of your dog’s ideal weight and help your dog live a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Research your dog’s ideal weight range by breed

    There are many resources online that can give you insight into healthy weight levels. It’s important to note that these can be pretty wide ranges – but it’s a good place to start. Get a sense of what is normal for your dog’s breed, and establish a baseline.

  2. Weigh your dog to see if the weight is in range

    This is relatively straightforward – but not always easy! Get ahold of a scale (there’s one in most vet offices) and lift your dog while on the scale. As your dog stands or sits still, note the amount. If you need a bit of help getting your dog to stay still, step on the scale without your pet and subtract the two numbers. This will allow you to see where your dog fits into the weight range.

  3. Do a basic visual and physical assessment of your dog

    The first thing to look at is the rib area. Are the ribs easily visible? Or are they hidden behind a layer of fat and skin? Also take a look at the waist area. Are the hips and waist easily to see, or is fat and skin noticeable at first glace? Next, take a minute to pet your dog and feel the skin underneath the fur. It should be easy to identify the muscle surrounding the ribs and hips, as well any excess fat.

  4. Develop a plan to get to that goal weight

    If you suspect your dog might be over his or her healthy weight, here’s what we recommend you do.

    1. Confirm your suspicions with your vet. This part is the most important - make sure you get a confirmation of your dog’s weight issue before you change any feeding or exercise habits. Don’t make any adjustments to your dog’s routine without talking with your vet first.
    2. Following your vet’s advice, adjust food portions. Be sure to keep your dog’s food portions under control. A big part of this is to avoid any snacking or over-eating. Dogs will get used to eating what you provide and could easily beg for more. Stick to your plan and keep your dog’s health top of mind – no matter how much begging or sad-looking puppy eyes you get!
    3. Walk it off and get some exercise. Start a new routing of walking with your dog or creating new opportunities for exercise. A good place to start is to go on a walk at the same time every day. This will quickly become a welcome routine for your dog – walks are fun! – and you’ll get some extra exercise for yourself during the day, too.

Your dog’s health is often in your hands, and the habits you create are critical to your dog’s quality of life. Don’t wait to find out what a healthy weight looks like for your dog. Take an active role in keeping your pet as healthy as can be.


Is your dog ready for a fun day at daycare? We’re located in Carmel and provide dog boarding, day care, and professional dog grooming for dogs all around Indy and Central Indiana. Visit us for a tour of our facility and say hi! Contact us.