Finding and maintaining your dog’s ideal weight can significantly extend your pet’s life.
A fourteen year landmark study confirms…
Dogs fed to ideal body condition lived 1.8 years longer than their overweight litter mates.1
That’s a bonus of nearly 2 extra years of life… just for keeping your dog close to his ideal body weight.
So, where do you go to find your dog’s ideal weight?
Where Not to Look for a Dog’s Ideal Weight
To get a ballpark idea of what your dog should weigh, you could simply look it up in a table of ideal pet weight ranges.
But that could present a problem.
Nearly every table (by necessity) provides this important value in a range of weights… and not a pinpoint number.
For example, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention suggests a weight for Labrador Retrievers of 65 to 80 pounds. And that’s a significant spread… a difference of about 23%.
And that figure can vary even more simply depending upon whether your pet is a male or a female.
What If your Dog Isn’t a Pure Breed?
And what about mixed breeds… dogs like our Bailey? Where do you go to look up their ideal weights?
That’s the problem. There’s no clear reference for every individual dog. Because dogs come in so many builds, shapes and sizes… how could there be?
Yet you still need to have a target weight to shoot for.
The Ideal Dog Weight System
Used by Veterinarians
Here’s a solution that works for all dogs…
The very best way to determine your dog’s ideal weight is to use the exact same method used by veterinarians… the Purina Body Condition System2.
The Body Condition System uses two simple techniques to rate the state of your dog’s body…
- Visual inspection
- Palpation (using the sense of touch)
By using your senses of sight and touch, you assign your dog to one of three categories…
- Too Thin
- Too Heavy
Your rating will be based upon comparing your dog’s appearance to a standardized diagram — and then palpating (feeling) for his ribs and frame.
The Bottom Line
Determining an ideal weight goal can make a real and measurable difference in how long your dog lives. And once you know that goal, it’s then important to serve the right amount each time you feed your pet
So be sure to estimate the right serving size for your dog. And be ready to change that amount whenever you switch to a different food.
Sure, it’s a little extra work. But if you love your dog as much as I do mine, maintaining your pet’s ideal weight can be a very worthy goal.