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I've read several times, in several places, that in order to check if a dog is the correct weight for his size, you should be able to feel his ribs obviously, but not see them. However, with Basil, it's quite difficult to feel his ribs, I actually have to try very hard. Of course I wouldn't be able to see them, since his fur is very long. So, I assumed he is over-weight. However... When you stand over him and look at him from above, his waist his definitely narrower then his ribs. He actually looks sort of skinny. I'm beginning to wonder if his ribs are just wonky or something, because he should be overweight, right??

I feed Basil twice a day, a total of 2/3 of a cup of Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry kibble. I used one of those online food calculators to determine how much I need to feed him, and it suggested .6 cups for an inactive lifestyle, and 1.5 cups (I think) for a very active lifestyle. Basil and I aren't terribly active (Hopefully that will change as soon as we move, as there are lots of fun things like Dog Parks and walking trails in Dallas that we don't really have here) and I was thinking he was overweight, so I decided to feed him 2/3 cups a day just to play it safe. But my mom thinks I should be feeding him more, at least a full cup per day, because of his narrow waist. Plus, he still looks sorta hungry after each meal. But Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a fairly high quality food, with very little filler and lots of calories and protein. I'd assume I'd feed less then like Dog Chow or something, right? So.. what do you think, am I doing this right? Am I judging his weight ratio correctly? Am I feeding too little??

Also, here's some additional info: Basil is approximately 13 inches at the haunches, and last I heard from his ex-foster mom is he's 17 lbs (20 lbs was listed on Petfinder, and supposedly he came into the shelter at 22 lbs, so he's lost a considerable amount of weight, and might still need to lose some more) I also give him occasional treats, like Bil Jac liver treats, and I put half a hot dog his his Kong once a day (We're selectively eliminating things like cheese and fruit from his diet to cut down on his frequent flatulence, he may have a possible corn/wheat allergy so I'm not chancing it with any biscuits, kibble and treats fall out of his Kong too quickly and don't occupy him as long, and he doesn't really care for peanutbutter, so our options are VERY limited! I wish I could figure something healthier then a hot dog to put in his Kong >.<) But other then that, there are very few extras. I also TRY to walk him every day, but the last couple of weeks have been VERY busy, so it's been more like 3 times a week. I'm actually going to see if I can manage a quick walk in the mornings starting tomorrow, though.

So, anyways, I guess what I'm asking is, do y'all know of any more certain ways of determining the correct weight ratio for your dog? There's no way I'd be able to see any ribs, and I really can't feel them... so is there anything else I can do? Also, do my feeding habits seem reasonable? I suppose my goal really is to figure out if Basil is too fat, too skinny, or just right XD
 

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Hmm... just for reference, Summer is 10 1/2 inches and 7 lbs. Trey is 14 inches and should weigh about 18 lbs but he's underweight because of his tumor. Do you have a pic of him (preferably when he's wet so we can see his build?) Paps vary quite a bit in build, and my girl is a lanky little thing.

With my crew, Summer has a hair more padding on her ribs than I like and Rose is definitely a smidge pudgy for my tastes. I like dogs lean, though. Rose looks wide from the top but not from the side, she's just built weird. Beau and Nard have basically zero body fat. One person said you should be able to run your hand over their ribs and it should feel similar to the back of your hands. That's what Beau and Nard feel like. Beau looks heavier though just because he's a broader dog.

I don't know if these help, but this is Summer from the top and side.



 

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Thanks for all the info!!

Fridays are Basil's bath days, so I'll try to get a pic of him all soggy XD

I'm curious, since Trey seems to be similar in size and weight to Basil, but what's his activity level, what do you feed, and how much? I dunno if it would apply, though seeings as though he has a tumor, and I don't know how much that affects him.

Also, Summer is a very pretty pup =D
 

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I know what you mean....some dogs are hard to figure out. For instance, I think my mom's dog is too fat. You can feel her ribs easily but she still just looks fat to me. I think her ribs grew out with her fat instead of being covered with it, LOL. And my Penny always seems skinny to me, even when I can't feel her ribs easily. Oh well, as long as they're healthy, I guess.
 

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It's so nice to see someone post about this! I realize most people on DF have healthy weight dogs, but working at a vet clinic it can be absolutely disgusting 1) how obese some dogs are and 2) how the owners realize and don't do anything about it!

It's funny, Bridgette looks oddly chubby to me right now when she is alongside Brody. In reality she is exactly where she needs to be and Brody needs to gain 5-8 pounds.
 

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Ugh, I know a Sheltie who is so fat you could roll her. Seriously, she's just as wide as she is tall. Supposedly, she's under a vet-supervised diet, but really you can't see any improvement. I don't know the details, but I truly wonder how much they're feeding her. I suspect they're feeding her according to what the bag says for her CURRENT weight, and not for her IDEAL weight (but, they say to the vet, we're only feeding her what the bag says!). I'll bet that's a leading cause of doggy obesity.
 

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And it's perfectly ok to feed less than the bag says...shelties can chunk up quickly, I have to really watch one of mine, he's always borderline. I feed him less than the bag says, but he's looking waddly again and I suspect hubby has not been measuring exactly.
 

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Thanks for all the info!!

Fridays are Basil's bath days, so I'll try to get a pic of him all soggy XD

I'm curious, since Trey seems to be similar in size and weight to Basil, but what's his activity level, what do you feed, and how much? I dunno if it would apply, though seeings as though he has a tumor, and I don't know how much that affects him.

Also, Summer is a very pretty pup =D
Trey's tumor is really making it hard to keep weight on him. He's so old and has so many health problems he is difficult to keep weight on. He's underweight right now but there's nothing we can do at this point to remove his tumor so we're just letting him live out the rest of his life. He's pretty inactive at this point but that's mainly because he's old.

Of my dogs that are about the same size, they vary a LOT on how much they eat. When Nik and Trey were young, Trey would eat twice what Nikki did and Nikki was always a touch chubby and Trey was always a touch underweight. Beau is a pig, he eats 2 times what the rest of the paps do, but at the same time he's probably the fittest. He just never stops moving. I feed Summer 1/2 a cup and Beau gets a bit over a cup or more. They weigh almost exactly the same.
 
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