It is a sensitive topic for us 2-legged types, but not for our dogs, fortunately. It is an important topic however, because being overweight affects the life span, health, and quality of life in our IGs. Many of us have seen it, when we let our dogs get overweight, it often happens gradually, we notice they have less energy. Then when we correct our feeding habits, we see their vigor restored. It is hard on their structure to carry extra weight. 1 extra pound on a 10-pound dog is equal to 15 extra pounds on a 150 pound person. A couple pounds of extra fat on an IG is like an average person being almost 30 lbs overweight. With IGs, even a few extra pounds can make the difference between slim and obese.
Just like in people, in dogs obesity can lead to:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Trouble Breathing
- Skeletal Problems/Lameness
- Inactivity/Low Energy/Lethargy
- Non-allergic skin conditions
- Stress on the organs
Please take a look at your IG and decide if you need to cut back on his portion size or reduce between meal treats.
A review of how to tell if your IG is at a good weight:
- Has a distinct waist-line (viewable from looking down),
- Has two or three ribs visible under the skin on each side,
- All his ribs are easily palpable (felt) under the skin,
- No rolls of fat/skin over the top of his shoulders/back over his front legs, none over his ribs and also none over his rump/back over his rear legs,
- Visible small points of hip bones over each side of his rump over his back
- Little or no tuck up or waist visible and more fat/skin rolls would be overweight.
- Can’t easily feel his hip bones? Overweight.
- A lot more bone outline easily visible is too thin.
It is fairly easy to reduce your dog’s weight by increased activity, reducing portion sizes, and minimizing treats. Dogs do not care about size of a treats; it is the principle of the thing. A single piece of kibble or a cheerio is fine. Thawed, frozen green beans add bulk without adding many calories. Some dogs eat them frozen, too. If you are feeding a normal, good kibble, 1/4 cup 2X day is usually a good amount for a 9 pound dog; 1/2 cup for 15 pound, depending on your dog’s metabolism. If you are feeding another kind of food, experiment with reducing the amount to see the rate of weight loss. Don’t use signs of hunger to feed your dog. Evolution has engineered dogs to eat when food is available whether they need it or not. While I have known some self-limiting IGs, most need us to choose their food intake amount.