How Fluffy Should Fluffy Be?...Tips regarding how much your pet should weigh

Welcome to our blog! We have put together a list of commonly asked questions we hear in our exam rooms at Westside. Hopefully these will be both helpful and bring a smile to your face.  We love chatting with you and if you have any suggestions or other questions please feel free call or message us at 573-893-7707 or [email protected]

How Fluffy Should Fluffy Be?

Probably the top two questions pertaining to food that we hear are: “How much should I be feeding my dog?”, and the ever-sensitive subject of “Do you think Fluffy is over weight?”.

Well I’m always one to jump in headfirst so lets talk about healthy weights for our furry friends.  Below you’ll find a chart veterinarians use as a guideline for a healthy body condition score. General guidelines taught in vet school are that pets ribs should not be visible but should be able to be felt with gentle pressure. Another good guideline is if you are looking down at your dogs’ back they should have an hourglass figure.

Compare your pet to the chart below. If they look similar to any of the dogs above a 5, they are medically considered overweight and could benefit from a diet change or more exercise. If they are below a 4, they would be considered a little thin and would benefit from increased calorie intake.


(Click chart to view in larger format)

The struggle with weight management comes in when we see those sweet puppy eyes begging for a treat! We all love giving our babies treats but they usually pack more calories than we expect. Check out our "Treats To Try" blog for some healthy alternatives that your fur babies will adore you for sharing with them!

As for how much you should be feeding your pup, it depends on several things such as weight, age, exercise level and what type of food you are feeding. Blugh…. seems rather complicated doesn’t it? Well it doesn’t have to be. We’ve put together a few websites where you can match your pets’ lifestyle to the amount of food they should be eating. Many of these are made by food companies such as Royal Canin, Purina, and Hills and will be really helpful if you are already feeding your pet one of these foods.

 Many bags of dog food have a chart listed on the bag that will tell you how much you need to feed your dog based on their age as well.


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