I hear it all the time. Gosh your dogs are thin! Sally and Sam both often have ribs showing but they eat, and eat and eat - up to 6 cups of food over 4 meals a day at some points! I make the time to have a good long look and feel of each dog once a week and adjust diet as needed. (Oh the things Sally has taught are so varied!)
Thea is on the right. Not our right .... her right- gotcha! She's the tallest of her sisters and the lightest too.
You can see Sally's ribs.
All you can see is fluff on Brody but if you get your hands on him there is no flab to tickle. The Arnold Schwarzenegger of Shih tzus - that's how he's known at the vets. (Even though he's a shmaltipoo! HA take that designer dog breed name)
And skinny Sampson. Even I often think Sampson is skinny! Well he is skinny sometimes, so is Sally. But I'd much rather they were skinny (not emaciated!) than obese. Latest research indicates that longevity is tied to fitness. Obesity kills. Organs have a harder time functioning. The circulatory system is slower. And so on.
I'm lucky in that my dogs do lots of the work to keep themselves trim but we structure their lives to allow that as well. The 'big dogs' get a 2 km road walk every morning, the 'littles' get out at least every other morning for at least 1 km. They get tons of free no demand off leash running at the house daily and we try to work in peaceful free ranging farm walks too (tho not lately). They get
When a chubby little foster arrives we put them in the program, as much for their mental health as anything, it's amazing to watch waist lines trim down and flab turn to muscle.
Little Wyn was told he was a brick of muscle when he was at the vets last week. Amazing in a puppy but oh so good for him! Do yourself and your dogs a favour. Have a good long look and feel and decide if they are in good shape. Everything you can do to help them get in great shape helps you too!
I was watching a commercial the other day for some type of "lean" dog food, and I kept saying...that dog isn't lean, neither is that dog. They weren't huge, but they certainly didn't look like athletes.
Chewy looks huge due to all his fur. People are shocked when I tell them he's only 15 pounds. I make them touch him so they can see it is all an optical illusion.
I used to be a bit paranoid about keeping L&W nice and trim in their heyday too... Especially having a heavier set dog like Walter, really important to keep the weight off for their joints and everything else. I must admit I've somehow let Lucy gain a few pounds since retiring from flyball and agility trials... For Lucy's annual vet check this year we had a different vet than usual, who's not into dog sports at all, and she commented that Lucy's the perfect weight for her size and I'm thinking "Really? Actually I think she could definitely stand to lose a couple of pounds...".
Sure are lots of different points of view on what a healthy weight is! Definitely better to err on the side of leanness as far as I'm concerned, for all the reasons you mention.
By the way, I really love the photo of Sally on your blog header -- makes me smile every time!
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