dvm (72)There are numerous recommendations for proper breed body weights that can be found. Looking in breed magazines, on line (ex. www.puppydogweb.com), or by calling your veterinarian will give you some body weight ranges. These are only starting points as pets of the same breed, sex, and age may differ greatly in bone structure and height that affect the desired body weight.

The exact body weight of your pet is based on body conformation. Good parameter for proper body conformation are the ability to easily feel the last few ribs with minimal tissue and an hour glass appearance of the body while looking down on your pet.

Feeding two times a day a true measured volume and daily exercise is ideal. For over weight pets that are getting to many calories reducing the measured amount of food given and increasing exercise may achieve the desired conformation. The contrary is true for under weight pets. Numerous weight reducing diets are available such as Science Diet R/D, Eukanuba Restricted Calorie, etc. Ask your veterinarian for the ideal diet for your pet’s size, age, and health status.

Feeding habits may not always be the cause of under or over weight pets. Over weight pets may be caused by diseases such as hypothyroidism, heart failure, tumors, etc. In contrast under weight pets may result from parasitism, digestive disorders, hyperthyroidism, etc. Your pet’s regular physical veterinary and blood wellness examinations will help determine there health status to access if a disease state is affecting your pets body conformation.

New medications for over weight pets are now available. A drug call Slentrol (dirlotapide) in now approved for weight loss in dogs. Slentrol is a pill administered daily causing a decrease in appetite and gradual weight loss until a desired body conformation is achieved.