How to tell when a dog is too skinny?

Discussion dedicated to promoting the well-being of your dog through diet, exercise and general health tips.

Moderators:emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
Erica
Posts:2697
Joined:Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location:North Carolina
How to tell when a dog is too skinny?

Post by Erica » Sat May 28, 2016 10:20 pm

Delta's a picky goober, sometimes skips meals for a day or so for no reason I can discern - the same portion will be delicious the next day, but totally ignored the day before. I'm starting to worry a bit about his weight as his hips are visible even through his fluff, and when he lays on his side his ribcage and hips poke out noticeably. He was mildly overweight (still "skinny" to most people) after 2 months of restricted activity back in Jan/Feb, but since then we've gradually worked back up to a 2-ish mile walk, fetch if the weather's good, and fairly active training sessions daily.

I'm going to give him more kibble in his kongs when I leave; otherwise, he's basically allowed to eat as much of his raw meals as he wishes. He never consumes the whole thing in one sitting, and if the leftovers are too small for a meal I open up a new portion to serve alongside it at the next feeding.

He was 45 lbs at the last vet visit and is only an inch or so shorter than the 90 lb ridgeback mix we dogsit (who is, admittedly, a bit overweight). Might take him in to weigh on Wednesday; they're closed tomorrow and Monday and I've no spare time on Tuesday.

Anyways - what signs should I be looking for in a healthy weight dog vs one who is too thin?
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

JudyN
Posts:7018
Joined:Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location:Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: How to tell when a dog is too skinny?

Post by JudyN » Sun May 29, 2016 2:08 am

How old is he now, and how tall to the shoulders? Is it possible to get a photo from the side & from above, that show his figure through all the fluff?
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Erica
Posts:2697
Joined:Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location:North Carolina

Re: How to tell when a dog is too skinny?

Post by Erica » Sun May 29, 2016 4:53 pm

I'll try to get some pictures to my computer. I'm in a funny spot at the moment where I've only got internet for my computer at a few rare moments, so uploading pictures anywhere takes some advance planning. I'm also hoping to find some time this week to trim him down a bit, which may make his shape clearer as well.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Erica
Posts:2697
Joined:Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location:North Carolina

Re: How to tell when a dog is too skinny?

Post by Erica » Mon May 30, 2016 7:58 pm

Image
Image
Image
White line is an approximation of where his actual body is vs the tummy fluff
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

JudyN
Posts:7018
Joined:Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location:Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: How to tell when a dog is too skinny?

Post by JudyN » Tue May 31, 2016 1:43 am

He looks fine to my inexpert eye, though I do go by sighthound physique :wink: I don't think all that fluff can be disguising overly sticky-out ribs, but feel would be more important than looks here.

I tend to go by the backbone - in some lurchers (and a very young skinny pointer I know who can't keep weight on) the back looks like a crest of hills and that's when I wonder if they could do with a few more pounds. But some do seem to be naturally like that.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

User avatar
Nettle
Posts:10753
Joined:Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: How to tell when a dog is too skinny?

Post by Nettle » Tue May 31, 2016 2:28 am

Looks fine to me, too, but like JudyN I am used to fit dogs of sighthound type - though I also know fit gundogs!

Also he is still a youth. He will thicken out with maturity - thank goodness you have kept him whole, which means he will mature into the correct shape.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Erica
Posts:2697
Joined:Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location:North Carolina

Re: How to tell when a dog is too skinny?

Post by Erica » Tue May 31, 2016 10:17 pm

I can feel his spine easily from shoulder to the front of his pelvis...but Nettle also has a good point about some young dogs just not putting on much muscle/weight. I can always remember that point when I see other people concerned about their young dogs but it slipped my mind for him!

I'll update again this weekend after grooming. There is a lot of fluff on him at the moment! I can hide nearly the first two knuckles of my finger in his fur.

Some of the fit-working-poodle fans I know refer to fit poodles as having sighthound-esque figures when they're in good shape, and that would explain how even moderately fat poodles look like fairly fit labs: if they're meant to be very lean, a pudgy one will look like a healthy-pet-weight "normal" dog.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Post Reply