Is my pet a healthy weight?

A couple of my clients have recently mentioned being concerned about knowing how much to feed their puppy. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can be a challenge especially when they are a puppy and growing super fast!

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has published the below graphic as an excellent visual guide.

So what to do if your dog Is underweight?

  • First things first – speak to your vet and arrange for a check-up. You may even be able to do this with one of the practice nurses, and its an excellent opportunity for your dog to go to the vets and it just involve the scales and no nasty surprises.
  • It could be as simple as your dog needing to increase their food intake.
  • It could however be a symptom of an underlying digestive issue. Other symptoms to watch out for are really mucus covered poo, runny poo, unpleasant gas to name a few.
  • Puppies who have had digestive issues when very young can be more at risk as the development and growth of their stomach could have been affected.

What to do if your dog is overweight?

  • First things first – speak to your vet and arrange for a check-up. You may even be able to do this with one of the practice nurses, and its an excellent opportunity for your dog to go to the vets and it just involve the scales and no nasty surprises.
  • Your vet may advise some additional exercise – if so be sure to increase this gradually as much like us humans, your dog may need a coach to 2k workout plan!
  • Enrichment toys – such as a wobble Kong, K9 Connectable or go slow bowl can also be used at meal time. This will both allow your pet to eat more slowly but also give them a nice dopamine boost which will also boost their mood.

The importance of a balanced and “complete” diet

Sadly, not all dog foods are created equal. Legally manufacturers must list ingredients from most to least, and so it is always worth checking what the first three ingredients are of your dog’s food. If it contains fillers such as Rice or Maize, you may wish to consider moving your dog onto a higher protein-based diet.

Complementary Food is exactly that – complementary. You shouldn’t feed your pet just this food as it won’t contain all the nutrients that they need for their optimal health. You would need to top this up with other food and may struggle to manage to find the correct nutritional balance for your pet.

Complete Pet Food however means that you can feed your pet only that food and wouldn’t mess with the nutritional balance of their diet.

For more independent information on different types of dog food – please check out

https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/

Nutrition is a highly specialised area and in no way should the information above be used without consulting with your Vet or a Qualified Pet Nutritionist.