Is your dog fat, fit or needs to pork up a bit?

Suitable weight for your dog is critical to long term health and wellbeing

The Chateau Canine team is contacted on a daily basis from dog owners all around China asking about suitable food. One of the first questions that we ask owners is about weight control and what they want to achieve for their dog’s health. People are often unclear about what is a suitable weight, how to establish if their dog is overweight or underweight or just right. We have put together this quick video to help people understand a simple, easy method to gauge if it’s time to shed a few pounds or put a few on. This technique is suitable for any adult dog over 1 year of age, regardless of the density of their fur – which is normally the primary reason for any confusion!

So, how do we test the “Fatness Factor”?

Around the dog’s rib cage, we want to push our hands deep into the fur until we are having direct contact with the skin, then we want to feel around for the individual ribs. For an ideal weight, there should be some gentle rises and dips, but you shouldn’t be able to feel distinct space between the ribs. If you have ever walked through a bookshop or library and run your fingers along the spines of the books, you will know the sensation I am talking about.

Alternatively, when you start digging around if you are feeling nothing at all, then its likely that your dog is overweight and it’s time to consider a review of their diet. The critical thing to note is that it’s not necessarily more food that is needed, but rather it is better food that leads to more ideal outcomes. Poor quality foods are generally low in nutrients and high in calories which can lead to obesity – just like junk food for humans. Many common breeds can develop health issues later in life due to being overweight, therefore it’s best to keep them fit all the time. In contrast, if you can clearly see multiple ribs, hip bones, or individual segments of your dog’s spine, then they are likely too lean and may be in need of a diet with a higher caloric density or better source ingredients.

Finally, what to do about puppies? Puppies (dog’s under 12 months for most breeds) should be a little bit on the porky side with no ribs showing and a cute little pot belly, not a big balloon of a belly! While they are still going through the primary stages of growth, it is important that their body has a consistent supply of spare energy lying around (fat) to enable any growth spurt to reach its full potential. Underweight puppies that miss out on that energy will not develop as completely as they could.

If you are confused about the kajillion different types of dog foods and options that are out there in the market, add our wechat: chateaucanine. We’ll walk you through how to choose good food and stay away from the junk to keep your pup happy healthy and safe in China!


Found this article interesting or useful even? Support our efforts by taking a look at Chateau Canine’s Social Responsibility Initiatives and see how you can change a street dog’s life, just by buying a toy / treat / food / bed for your own dog! That sounds Barking Awesome doesn’t it 😉

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