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Weight control for dogs

Obesity is a common problem among dogs in Sweden, being overweight is a risk factor for many diseases. But while it is important that the dog is not overweight, it is also important that it is not underweight. Read on and we'll tell you how to tell if your dog has the right amount of body!

All dogs can become overweight, but there are some breeds that are more likely to develop obesity than others. What makes a dog overweight is how much energy they consume in relation to how much energy they expend. Older dogs that have trouble moving are at an extra risk of gaining too much weight. Neutered dogs also have a higher risk of becoming overweight, due to the lower metabolism when they are neutered.

Since all breeds of dog differ greatly in appearance and size, it is of course difficult to give precise guidelines for what a dog with a good body looks like, but there are some general points:

  • You should be able to feel the ribs with ease under a thin layer of fat

  • The dog should have a visible waist when viewed from above

  • If you look from the side, the dog's belly should go up the last bit towards the hind legs

  • You can use the WSAVA body condition score to help. There is a 1-9 scale that can help you assess your dog's body.

If you are unsure if your dog is 'just right' size or need advice on how to get your dog to his ideal weight, we recommend you contact a vet for advice.

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