When looking at dog breeds, it can be seen that there are dogs with very different body sizes and shapes. This confuses the average dog about the ideal weight. Considering an Afghan hound and a short-legged Basset hound, they’d both be expected to weigh around 25 pounds, but these two breeds have very different physiques and therefore have very different metabolic needs. Instead of comparing the weight of dogs with their genetic make-up, there is a much more effective method to determine the ideal weight. The best method to find the ideal dog weight is to use the body weight and body condition score. The body condition score is one of the most popular tools used to calculate the amount of body fat. Body condition score in dogs is a 9-part system. System consisting of 9 parts4. Dogs in the 5th or 5th section are considered to be at ideal weight. In this system, known as BCS for short, dogs between the 1st and 3rd divisions are considered extremely thin, the dogs between the 6th and 7th divisions are considered overweight, and the dogs that are between the 8th and 9th divisions are considered obese. Dogs after 9 are considered morbidly obese.
BCS evaluation is done by looking and touching the ribs, abdomen and lumbar region. Dogs of ideal weight should be able to feel their ribs by hand, and there should be very little fat in this area. When viewed from above, the dog’s lumbar region should appear as a thin curve inward behind the ribs. When viewed from the side, there should be tension in the abdominal region and an upward curved image in the belly area from behind the ribs. Overweight dogs have excess fat on their ribs and therefore do not have a prominent waist or abdominal bend. On the other hand, extremely lean dogs have a pronounced lumbar curve and abdominal tension, but lack palpable fat in the ribs, spine, and pelvis.
Determining Target Weight
After determining the body condition score, it is possible to determine the ideal weight of the dogs. The most ideal dog weight calculation formula accepted today was developed by the University of Liverpool. According to this formula, in order to determine the ideal weight, it is necessary to multiply the current weight with the result of 100/100+(BCS Score-5)x10. Although it may sound like a complex method at first, it is actually quite simple to calculate with this method. We can calculate the ideal weight of a dog with a weight of 50 and a BCS score of 9 according to this formula as follows.
- We will subtract 5 from the current BCS score. 9 – 5 = 4
- Then we will multiply this number by 10. 4 x 10 = 40
- We will add 100 to the number we find. 40 + 100 = 140
- We’ll divide the result by 100 and get the first three digits after 0. 100 / 140 = 0.714
- Finally, we will multiply this result by our dog’s current weight. 0.714 x 50 = 35.7 kg.
According to this calculation, the ideal weight of our dog, which has a BCS score of 9 and weighs 50 kg, is actually 37.5 kg.
Why Is It Important to Know Your Dog’s Ideal Weight?
Knowing your dog’s ideal body type and weight is important to implement a successful weight loss program or to provide the right diet for lean dogs. At this point, one of the important questions is “How many meals are given to dogs?” is a question. The answer to this question actually depends on the age of the dog. It is recommended to follow a three-meal-a-day feeding plan until dogs are 6 months old. For dogs older than 6 months, two meals per day is sufficient.
Dogs Who Need to Lose Weight
Weight loss programs are often performed with calorie restriction. For your dog’s ideal weight, the veterinarian calculates the daily amount of calories he needs. In this way, you can know exactly how much food you should give to dogs that need to lose weight. You can view the light dog food types formulated for dogs by clicking here. Along with the change in nutritional habits, regular exercise also begins to respond to your dog’s changing metabolic needs. In this way, it becomes possible to lose weight in a balanced way. Regular monitoring is important for the process to progress properly. Monthly BCS assessments ensure that your dog reaches his ideal weight safely and healthily.
Extremely Weak Dogs
It is also not healthy for your dog to be under his ideal weight. In cases of extreme weakness, you can consult your veterinarian to help your dog reach its ideal weight. However, excessive weakness in dogs can also occur due to some problems. Parasites, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, Addison’s disease, oral diseases or stress can cause dogs to lose weight. For this reason, debilitated dogs should definitely go to veterinary control.