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Dogs require exercise, discipline and affection — Cesar Milan reiterates this in many episodes of ‘The Dog Whisperer’. With increasing pet obesity rates, ensuring your canine companion gets adequate daily exercise is more important than ever! While weight problems in humans and canines may be due to underlying health conditions such as hypothyroidism and genetics, the key culprits leading to overweight and obesity are improper diet and lack of sufficient exercise. Similar to their human counterparts, overweight and obese dogs are at risk of suffering detrimental health conditions including but not limited to: osteoarthritis, diabetes, ligament injuries, cancer and a decreased life expectancy.

Curious to know what an extra few pounds on your dog would feel like on you? Consider this: if an average healthy weight for your dog is 55 pounds, and he or she weighs 65 pounds, that would be equivalent to a 5 foot 4 inch adult female being 24 pounds overweight or a 5 foot 9 inch adult male being 27 pounds overweight! So while it may not seem like much to be concerned about, just think about how your health and wellbeing would be impacted carrying an extra 25-30 pounds! Check out this Pet Weight Translator to try it out for yourself!

So how can you tell if your pooch is at a healthy weight? You should be able to feel the individual ribs on your pooch when you rub you hands lightly over their sides, but the ribs shouldn’t be visible. Check out the Ideal Pet Weight Ranges chart courtesy of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and review their Body Condition Scoring for Dogs, but remember that the best way to have your dog’s weight and health assessed is to visit your veterinarian. Your vet can also recommend an appropriate dog food to assist in weight loss if exercise alone is not sufficient to get your dog’s weight to a healthy range.

There is not much information available on caloric expenditure for dogs when exercising, but there are estimates available on the how many calories a dog needs on a daily basis. With that information, you can now check the caloric content of your dog’s food using the links below then determine how much you should be feeding.

Just as with humans, weight gain in dogs occurs there are more calories going in than are being burned off – so paying attention to what and how much you are feeding your pooch, as well as how much exercise he/she gets on a daily basis is key to avoiding those extra pounds.

Join Pooch Partners and be your pooch’s best training partner – it is a great experience that will not only help keep you and your pooch healthy, but will strengthen the bond between you!