January 28, 2023

Healthy puppy – Body condition checklist

Healthy puppy - Body condition checklist

If you want your puppy be healthy, you should check your puppy regularly for early signs of sickness.

How to assess the body condition of your puppy

Just follow food label instructions is not enough. Like people, every dog’s body uses food differently and their nutrient requirements change with age.

Don’t feed your puppy more food than he needs because the extra energy may be stored as fat and could lead to obesity, which can cause a number of health complications.

The best way to figure out how much to feed your puppy is by keeping tabs on their body condition from any early age.

Maintaining ideal body condition

Here are three ways to check your pet’s body condition:

Step 1. Rib Check

Place both of your thumbs on your pet’s backbone and spread your hands out across his rib cage. You want to be able to feel his ribs.

Step 2. Profile Check

Look at your dog’s profile and see if his abdomen is tucked up behind the rib cage. It helps if you’re level with your puppy.

Step 3. Overhead Check

Looking at your dog from overhead, see if you can see his waist behind his ribs. Most dogs at a healthy weight should have an hourglass figure.

Healthy puppy - Body condition checklist

Adjusting food accordingly

You can adjust the amount of his food if you have identified your puppy’s body condition.

  • If your dog is underfed, increase the daily ration for two weeks, then check body condition again. Continue feeding the increased amount until the ideal amount is reached.
  • If your dog is severely underfed, talk to your vet about the best way to bring him to an ideal body condition. Make sure you also check for other health issues which might be causing weight loss.
  • If your dog is overfed, reduce the amount you feed daily and check your dog’s body condition every two weeks until he reaches his ideal body condition.
  • If your dog is obese, consult your veterinarian. A weight management food may help make reaching ideal body condition easier.

If your dog is at ideal body condition, continue feeding the same amount you have been feeding at a scheduled time every day. Monitor your puppy’s health every two weeks and make adjustments as needed.