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The Importance of Keeping Pets at Their Ideal Body Weight

My siblings and I are very lucky. Even though we’re all one pack, my Lady understands that we are each unique and, so, have different needs to keep us healthy. This includes knowing how much each of us should weigh. After all, it only takes being just a few kilograms over or under our ideal body weight before our health starts to suffer.

The Importance of Keeping Pets at Their Ideal Body Weight

Breed needs and anticipated size determine healthy weight

My Lady makes sure each of us pups stays healthy by feeding and exercising us according to our breed and size.

For instance, my sister, Maggie, is a German Shepherd, and dogs of her breed normally weigh between 35 and 45 kg (as adults) to stay healthy.

However, my little brother, Poco, is a Rat Terrier and is much smaller.

If he weighed 35 kg, you can bet he’d be suffering health problems. Instead, he’s much smaller, so should only weigh between 4.5 and 8 kg.

Of course, there are so many different breeds of pups that it can be confusing for owners to know what our healthy weight should be.

Fortunately, there are some handy dog weight charts around by pet experts, like James Wellbeloved, which can help give an idea of the average weight of common breeds.

For a more accurate estimate, speak to an expert

However, not all of my brothers and sister’s breeds are listed on any single chart, especially us mongrels.

And even for those pups that are listed, charts only show approximate healthy weight ranges.

Sometimes, some dogs naturally hold more muscle, so are heavier without being unhealthy, while others are more sensitive to weight gain, like Labradors, so owners need to be more mindful about their pup’s weight.

To get a more accurate idea of each pup’s healthy weight range, there is only one person for the job…gulp…the vet.

Vets can run all kinds of tests, observe how well we gain and lose weight, and even recommend food and exercises to help maintain our health and fitness.

Food and meal sizes

By knowing how heavy a puppy is going to be as an adult, owners can buy appropriate puppy food, and later adult food, to ensure their pet is always eating a diet that is helping them grow strong.

As some of us are bigger than others, some pups need food with more protein, calcium, or other nutrients, while this can be unhealthy for other breeds.

Equally, large dogs need bigger meals so they get the energy they need, while my smaller brothers and sisters need smaller meals so they don’t overextend their stomachs.

So, whether you have your own pack of pups, or have just one pet dog to take care of, make sure to learn their ideal weight so you can monitor their health.

And, if they are outside that range, consult your vet to come up with a diet plan to help them get back to a healthy size.

Nancy E Loring

Wednesday 1st of September 2021

My boy Tuc is on a diet. I have been working with his Veterinarian and he is on a special dog food. He has lost 10lbs in 2 months. He still has a few more to go but we are working on it.

Debbie P

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

It's really important to keep dogs at their proper weight.

Kelly Hanley

Saturday 6th of October 2018

Thanks for sharing! This is super helpful information!

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