Various articles currently are appearing regarding obesity in dogs. Owners are questioning breeders on what is normal and what is overweight. I had such a question so I am repeating a column I wrote in 2000.
Dogs are mirroring their owners' lifestyles in many cases. People get up, get in their vehicles and go to work where they do a great deal of sitting. Then these same people return home and often sit some more watching television or playing board games with the family or friends.
Dogs rise in the morning and spend their days resting or slowly meandering around waiting for their family to return. In the evening they lie contentedly at their owners' feet until supper and bed.
Rarely do pets accompany their handlers on a jog, although some are fortunate to join them for a walk.
How do you estimate your dog's correct weight? Breeders' standard rule of thumb is whether the animal's ribs can be felt. If they can, the dog is not fat. In most breeds, if you can feel the backbone is another indication of correct weight. If in doubt, ask your veterinarian since some breeds are normally chunky.