For first-time dog parents, it can be challenging to tell if your dog is underweight just by looking at him/her. This is because it will vary depending on breed, as some are naturally thicker than others, while some appear relatively skinny.
With canine obesity increasing exponentially, it’s important to be able to tell whether your dog is overweight as well. Both scenarios can pose health problems to dogs, and it’s important to feed your dog the right amount of food and balance it with exercise.
In this article, we’ll focus on underweight dogs, and what you should do if you find out your dog is underweight.
While the most ideal way to determine if your dog is underweight is to consult a vet, there are some tests you may conduct at home that should give you a general idea. The first step is to weigh your dog and compare it with the ideal weight for his/her breed. This might prove difficult for large dogs, or ones who are not able to stay still.
In this case, perform a visual inspection. If you can see your dog’s ribs, then he/she is likely underweight. If they are also bony to touch and easily distinguishable, then the same may be true. This may not be as effective with dog breeds with naturally slim statures.
Another test you can try is by looking at your dog from a bird’s eye view. If you can clearly distinguish the curve from his/her hips to ribs, or notice a protruding lower backbone or pelvic bone, your dog may be underweight. Once suspicious, consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
What To Do If Your Dog Is Underweight
Your dog’s regular veterinarian should inform you of how to treat this condition properly. You should ensure you are feeding your dog the right amount of food. If your dog eats it fast and seemingly wants more, this may be a sign that he/she isn’t getting enough food. If your dog refuses to eat, there may be an underlying issue.
If your dog is still underweight after making prescribed changes, be sure to consult your vet. Treatment options will vary, but your dog is better off with professional help than with sketchy supplements you can find online!