Finding and maintaining your dog’s ideal weight can significantly extend your pet’s life.
A 14-year landmark study by Purina found that…
Dogs fed to ideal body condition lived 1.8 years longer than their overweight litter mates.
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 an idea of what your dog should weigh, you could simply look it up in a table of ideal pet weights.
However, nearly every table provides this important information in a range of weights — and not a specific number.
For example, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention suggests a weight range for Labrador Retrievers of 65 to 80 pounds.
That’s a significant difference of nearly 23%.
And that figure can vary even more — depending on whether your pet is a male or a female.
What If your Dog
Isn’t a Pure Breed?
And what about mixed breeds? Where do you go to look up their ideal weights?
Unfortunately, there’s no clear reference for every individual dog. Because dogs come in so many builds, shapes and sizes.
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 same method used by vets.
The Purina Body Condition System1.
The following 2-minute video2 shows how you to evaluate your dog’s current body condition.
The Hill’s veterinary surgeon in this video uses a European 5-point system…
Whereas the Purina system rates your dog on a scale of from 1 to 9.
Anyway, you’ll get the idea once you watch the video.
Purina Body Condition Score
The Body Condition System uses visual inspection and your sense of touch to rate the state of your dog’s…
By using your senses of sight and touch, you assign your dog to one of three categories…
- Too Thin (Body Condition Score = 1-3)
- Ideal (Body Condition Score = 4-5)
- Too Heavy (Body Condition Score = 6-9)
Your rating will be based upon comparing your dog’s appearance to this standardized diagram — and then palpating (feeling) his ribs and frame.
The Bottom Line
Determining an ideal weight goal can make a real difference in how long your dog lives.
And once you determine that ideal weight goal, it becomes 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. However, if you love your dog as much as we love Bailey, maintaining your pet’s ideal weight can be a very rewarding goal.