How Much Should My Dog Weigh? Weight Loss Guideline for Dogs
Are you wondering what a healthy dog’s weight is? We’ll explain how to calculate a healthy weight for your dog and give you some weight loss guidelines for overweight and obese dogs.
How Much Should My Dog Weigh?
The sure-fire way to know if your dog is healthy is to take them to the vet. Your veterinarian will weigh your dog but also assess its body composition and condition.
If your dog is a pure breed and you are looking for basic weight guidelines, you should check out the American Kennel Club Breed Weight Chart for a weight range for your dog’s breed.
Related Link: 10 High Fiber Foods for Your Dog
How Much Should a Mixed Breed Dog Weigh?
Do you have a mixed dog breed? No worries. Taking your mixed breed dog to the vet is the best way to learn how much your dog should weigh. But we can help determine a ballpark weight range for your mixed breed.
The PetMD Healthy Weight Tool is fantastic for mixed breed dogs if you can determine which breed is the most dominant for your dog or if you know your breed mix.
How to Calculate a Healthy Weight for Your Dog
To calculate a healthy weight for your dog, you’ll want to assess the Body Condition Score of your dog with their body weight. The Body Condition Score (BCS) uses a nine-point scale to determine if your dog is in a healthy condition by assessing its ribs, abdomen, and waistline. Dogs that score over a 6 on the scale are considered overweight.
Overweight dogs appear to have no waistline or abdominal tuck and have excess fat on their ribs. Underweight dogs will have accentuated abdominal tuck and waistline with protruding ribs, pelvis, and vertebrae.
Calculating a Target Dog Weight
Once you know your dog’s BCS, you can calculate your dog’s target weight:
- Subtract 5 points from your dog’s BCS.
- Multiply that number by 10.
- Add 100.
- To get a decimal number, use that number to divide it into 100 (i.e., 100/ new number).
- Multiply the decimal by your dog’s current weight to get your dog’s target weight.
The equation for target weight:
Target Weight = (Starting Weight) x (100 / 100 + [(Starting BCS – 5) x 10)])
If you don’t want to do the math yourself, you can use this How Much Should My Dog Weigh Calculator from PetMD.
Benefits to a Keeping Your Dog at a Healthy Weight
There are several benefits to keeping your dog at a healthy weight:
- Dogs that maintain a healthy weight live 1.8 years longer than overweight dogs of the same breed.
- Healthy weight dogs are at lower risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and respiratory disease.
- A healthy weight reduces the risk of bone, joint, and muscle injury.
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How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
One in three dogs is overweight or obese. Dog owners with overweight dogs will spend more on healthcare and medications than healthy-weight dogs. You can do several things to help your dog lose weight:
Check Your Pet Food Labels
To ensure your dog is eating healthy dog food, you should follow the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) four rules:
- The 95 Percent Rule: Whatever main ingredient the dog food claims to be, the ingredients must be made from 95% of that ingredient. For example, Salmon dog food should be 95% salmon.
- The 25 Percent Rule: If the product name includes the words “dinner, entrée, or platter,” then the main ingredient must be 25% of the food, not counting water.
- The With Rule: If the dog food label includes the word “with,” then the main ingredient must be 3% of the product.
- The Flavor Rule: If the label includes the word “flavor,” then the food must consist of a sufficient amount of the ingredient to detect the flavor.
You also want to look for the terms “Complete and Balanced” or “100 Percent Nutritious.” Dog food labels that include these terms meet the government standards for adequate nutrition designated by the AAFCO.
The Best Dog Food For Weight Loss:
- Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
- Nutro Natural Choice Dry Dog Food
- Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food
- Purina Pro Plan Focus Wet Dog Food
Take Your Dog to the Vet Regularly
By maintaining regular check-ups, your veterinarian can assess your dog’s weight and recommend tips to help your dog return to a normal weight. They can also check to ensure your dog doesn’t have any diseases or problems associated with excess weight.
Don’t Feed Your Dog Table Scraps
This tip is essential. Table scraps are one of the biggest causes of obesity in dogs. By eliminating table scraps and high-calorie treats, you establish a better eating routine and can monitor its food consumption more consistently.
Teach Children Appropriate Food and Treat Amounts
To help your dog get back to a healthy weight, you’ll need help from everyone in the family. If you have children, this includes teaching them what an appropriate portion is for feeding your dog. You’ll also want to teach them not to give too many treats or table scraps.
Keep Your Dog Active
You should walk your dog for at least 30 minutes each day. And walking your dog 2-3 times a day will help them lose weight and stay active. Active play is also another fun way to get your dog moving while bonding with them.
Be Patient Because Weight Loss Can Be Slow
It often takes longer for a dog to lose weight than to gain weight. And your dog may be slower or need more breaks if they are obese. Consistency, patience, and support are the best ways you can help your dog on its weight loss journey.
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