It is not just humans who are concerned with body fat; the question should also be asked about our pets: Is my dog overweight? The facts seem to indicate that increasingly the answer is yes.
It is sadly the case that overweight dogs are more and more common, and so pet owners with obese dogs do not perceive that their own dog is overweight, they seem him as being a normal size. There are also certain breeds where the percentage of overweight dogs is higher than normal, and this includes cocker spaniels, one of the two breeds used in breeding cockapoos. Additionally, several subgroups of dogs, such as pampered urban dogs, also have higher percentages of obesity.
Some studies in connection with canine obesity have found that while very few dog owners think that their pets are too heavy, veterinarians consider about half of the dogs they see overweight. That’s a big difference, but why?
It stands to reason that if most of the dogs which you see or come into contact with are overweight, you may logically conclude that your own dogs weight is within the normal range. However, if your dogs weight is within the normal range, some fellow dog owners may actually consider your dog to be too thin.
What is considered to be the ideal weight for any particular dog can vary dramatically depending upon his size. Cockapoos can range greatly in size, so it is difficult to use any kind of chart or graph, since ideal weight varies from dog to dog. Here are some simple ways to tell if your cockapoo is in a healthy weight range.
#1: The Rib Cage
When he stands normally, can you see your dogs ribcage? Slide your fingers around his ribcage applying very slight pressure. If you are able to easily identify each ribs outline without using more pressure than just indenting the skin, then your dogs weight is normal. If you struggle to make out your dogs ribs, he is likely overweight. Likewise, if his ribs are clearly visible, he is likely too thin.
#2: The Belly
Sit or kneel next to your dog so as to be level with him, and look at how he stands from the side. If you are able to see that his belly tucks up behind his ribcage, your dog is likely within the normal weight range. However, if you effectively see a straight line, whereby the abdomen is as low as the ribcage, then your dog is likely overweight. Further, if your dogs abdomen looks lower to the ground than the ribcage, then he is likely obese.
#3: The Waistline
Does your dog have an hourglass figure? Stand over your dog, whilst he is also standing. Looking down at his back, you should be able to see his body narrow at the waist. If you cannot identify a clear waistline, then your dog is likely to be overweight.
If you have identified both an hourglass waist and a tucked up abdomen, but have had to apply a little pressure to identify your dogs ribs, then he is likely only mildly overweight. Obviously, identifying obesity based on visual measures alone is limited. Additional indicators as to whether your dog is overweight are such things as intolerance of heat, reluctance to exercise, joint problems, and other conditions such as diabetes. More precise methods of determining obesity within dogs are available through your veterinarian.
Remember, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise are the best ways to ensure a proper weight for your pup, and help him to live a long and healthy life!