It’s a common question for dog owners. You look at your dog, and you see the adoring face of your best buddy. Then you look at the body between the attentive eyes and wagging tail and wonder if your buddy has gotten a little bigger than he should be. Should you be feeding him a low fat dog food? If so, should you feed a low fat dry dog food, or wet? Dry or wet, will a low fat option still have the flavor your dog craves?
To help you take a more objective look at your dog’s body condition, Purina® has developed an easy-to-follow 9-point chart that involves three easy checks of your dog:
- Rib Check: Think of this as a “healthy hug.” Place both of your thumbs on your dog's backbone and spread both hands across his rib cage. You want to be able to feel his ribs. Actually feeling your dog is important – if he has a thick coat, a quick look won’t be enough.
- Profile Check: Examine your dog's profile – be sure to sit on the floor so you are level with his side. Look for the abdomen to be tucked up behind his rib cage.
- Overhead Check: Look at your dog from overhead and identify if you can see a waist behind his ribs. Most dogs at a healthy weight should have an identifiable hourglass figure.
Now that you’ve checked your dog from these telling points, check the chart below to see how he rates in terms of overall body condition.
If he falls into the “Too Heavy” category, you should talk to your vet about starting your dog on a low fat dog food. He or she can recommend many options for both low fat dry dog food or wet.
Remember, like people, dogs are individuals with individual nutritional needs. So before you switch your dog to a low fat dog food, be sure to discuss your dog’s needs with your veterinarian, to make sure you’re choosing the right food for him.
Learn more about Beneful's Healthy Weight recipes here.