Weight and your Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular breed in the UK for many years. They’re also one of the breeds most likely to become overweight or obese. Is your Labrador overweight? Are you worried about your Labrador’s weight?
Labradors do put on weight easily. Whether it’s their metabolism and easy-going good nature or the fat they carry to keep them warm when they swim in icy waters, the Labrador is prone to gaining weight. Whatever the cause, if you allow your Labrador to gain weight it can cause problems later in life such as hip dysplasia and arthritis, among others.
You can check to see if your Labrador is overweight by feeling for his ribs. In a Labrador of ideal weight you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs but not see them. They should be covered in good flesh without any flab. If you can’t feel your dog’s ribs or find them beneath the skin then it’s a good bet than your dog is overweight.
Your Labrador should also have a waist. His stomach should “tuck up” behind his ribs in his flank area. Viewed from above you should also be able to see that your dog’s body narrows behind the ribs.
Your Labrador’s body between his chest and hips should not be a solid, rectangular mass. Viewed from above, your Labrador should not look like a tabletop.
In fact, your Labrador is a sporting dog and should be an active dog if he’s kept at an ideal Labrador weight. An ideal Labrador weight is 27-36 kg for males (60-79 lbs), and 25-32 kg (55-71 lbs) for females. (FCI) If your dog weighs significantly more than these weights you should think about a helping your dog lose weight.
You can also check a dog weight chart to see how your dog compares to the pictures and descriptions of the dogs depicted. Talk to your vet about your dog’s weight.
If you are concerned about your Labrador’s weight there are a number of ways you can help him reduce. Make sure you control your dog’s portion sizes. Don’t leave food out for your dog to eat at all times. Cut out fattening snacks and treats — substitute healthy treats instead such as popcorn and veggies. And don’t give your dog tablescraps that add calories to his diet.
If your Labrador needs to lose more weight you should look for a good low fat food such as Formula K. A good low fat food will be high in protein to build muscle, low in fat to keep calories low, and high in fibre to give your dog a full, satisfied feeling without adding more calories. A good low fat food can be one of the most important ways to help your Labrador lose weight.
With your help your Labrador can achieve his ideal weight and lead a happy, active life. He can stay with you for many happy, healthy years. Labradors are fantastic dogs. Help your dog live his life to his full potential by keeping his weight down.
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