Maintaining your dog’s ideal weight can add years to your dog’s life. A 14-yr Purina study found that “dogs fed to their ideal body condition lived 1.8 years longer than their overweight litter mates.” In this study, “ideal body condition” was defined as “when you can feel and see the outline of a dogs ribs, there is a waist when viewed from above and the abdomen is tucked up when viewed from the side.”
In the U.S., more than 54 percent of dogs are overweight or obese, and most pet owners fail to recognize this in their pets. A simple Google search on body condition score charts will provide you many tools that can help you decide if a diet might be in your dog’s future. Additionally, the Pet Nutrition Alliance also has a great BCS chart on its website.
Ask your veterinarian to assess your dog’s weight at every visit. It is much easier to make small adjustments in your dog’s daily food rations to maintain a healthy weight than being faced with having to lose 20 or 30 pounds from years of over feeding. Daily exercise and mental stimulation are important ways to keep your dog fit, happy and healthy.