How do you know if your dog is a healthy weight? Tips and Tricks

Is Your Dog a Healthy Weight?

Along with stepping onto the scale at your vet’s office to see if your pup weighs within a healthy range for their breed and age, you can also get an idea by simply looking at their overall body shape and feeling for their bones.

Some signs to watch for:

  • Ribcage highly visible
  • Spine clearly sticks out
  • Hip bones clearly stick out
  • Very little fat cover or padding between the skin and bones
  • Dramatic waist cinch, when viewed from above
  • Dramatic abdominal tuck, when viewed from the side
  • How do you know if your dog is a healthy weight?

  • Ribs can be felt, but not easily seen
  • Waist slightly cinches, when viewed from above
  • Abs tuck up, when viewed from the side
  • How do you know if your dog is a healthy weight?

  • Ribs are not visible. When feeling for the ribs, you’ll notice thicker padding above them.
  • Waist is barely visible or even bulges out, when viewed from above
  • Belly may look round and fall to either the same level as the chest or even further to the ground than the chest, when viewed from the side
  • Fat deposits and skin folds develop near the base of the tail, back, and neck
  • How do you know if your dog is a healthy weight?

    Check out this chart from for a better visual:

    How do you know if your dog is a healthy weight?

    If you are concerned your dog is underweight or overweight, you can get an accurate answer to this question by visiting a vet or pet nutritionist, but there are a few simple ways of finding out for yourself if your dog requires a lifestyle change.

    For dogs to lead an active, healthy life it is important for them to maintain a healthy body weight, and as a dog owner it is your responsibility to ensure that they do so. The most important factors to consider when it comes to your pets weight are the intensity with which it exercises, how often it gets to do so, and, of course, its daily food intake.

    The results of in-depth study carried out by Purina Pet Food and professional animal nutritionists in 2002 showed that by eating a properly regulated diet, dogs can live almost two years longer; which is quite a difference considering that the average lifespan of a dog is between ten and thirteen years. There are clear benefits to maintaining your dogs weight at a healthy level, but how do you know if your dog is at the correct weight?

    Look at Your Dog From the Side

    A sagging waist or swinging stomach is another tell-tale sign of a fat dog. When viewing your dog from the side, look for a waist that is slightly raised rather than simply hanging down and oval-shaped. “A dog’s abdomen should not be the same level as the chest and should be tucked up,” says Dr. Ochoa.

    How to know if your dog is a healthy weight?

    Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. But all too often we see dogs who are either a bag of bones (either because they’re experiencing health complications or are being neglected) or plump & pudgy (likely because they’re overfed and/or not getting enough exercise).

    Get this: According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50% of dogs in the United States are considered overweight or obese. And the potential problems associated with those extra pounds are serious.

    Here’s the thing: Your dog’s weight should be like baby bear’s porridge. Not too chunky. Not too boney. But somewhere right in the middle that’s just right!