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Is your dog healthy?

Sep 9, 2008
What is a dog's body condition?
Body circumstance refers to the evaluation of a dog's physique as one indicator of his overall health and well-being.

How can owners tell what body condition category their dog falls into (underfed, perfect or overfed)?
A graphic of the 3 general body condition categories appears on the back of all PURINA dog food packages under the PURINA Life Plan , making it easy for owners to compare their dog's body condition to the illustrations of an underfed, perfect and overfed dog:
Underfed: Ribs are highly visible.
Perfect Body Condition: Can feel and see outline of ribs. Dog has a waist when seen from above. Abdomen is tucked up when seen from the lateral.
Overfed: Dog has no waist when viewed from above. Belly is oval when viewed from the side.

Why is it essential to know your dog's body condition?
Obesity is a real concern for dogs that can lead to or exacerbate particular health conditions. Sustaining an perfect body condition reduces the likelihood that your dog will get weight-related conditions that can be bad and even life threatening. A lean or ideal body condition also supports healthy joints and assists maintain sound blood sugar levels, blood pressure and heart rate. Overall, it aids improve your dog's overall health and well-being throughout his life.

How do you ensure a dog's body condition?
Veterinarians utilize the PURINA Body Condition System, a scientifically validated standard produced by PURINA scientists that evaluates a pet's body physique on a nine-point scale. Owners should refer their veterinarian first to assure their dog's body condition on this scale, and to learn how to assess it at home. Mostly, there are two methods owners can utilise to learn a dog's body status at home:
Conduct a telescopic evaluation using the PURINA Life Plan version of the PURINA Body Condition System that groups a dog's body condition into 3 general categories: underfed, ideal and overfed
Perform a Purina Rib Check

What is the PURINA Rib Check?
The PURINA Rib Check is a fast and simple instrument developed by PURINA to help owners and veterinarians evaluate whether or not a dog is having additional weight. There are three components to conducting a Rib Check:
1. Rib Check
Can you feel your dog's ribs? It's a fast and simple way to tell if your dog is having a few additional pounds. Simply set both of your thumbs on your dog's backbone and spread both hands across his rib cage. If you can't feel the ribs easily, your dog may require to lose weight.
2. Profile Check
Test your dog's profile. The abdomen should appear somewhat "tucked up" behind the rib cage.
3. Overhead Check
While your dog is standing, stand directly over him and look down. You should find a clearly-defined waist behind the ribs. Nearly all dogs at a healthy weight should have an hourglass figure.

When should owners start measuring their dog's body condition?
Owners should judge their puppy's body condition starting from the starting to positively affect their dog's health long-term. Because puppies are growing at an extraordinary rate, they require a higher caloric consumption than the common adult dog. But if a puppy's portions aren't controlled, such a high-calorie diet can lead to excess weight early in life that can put him on the path to the obesity. Regularly check your dog's body condition with your veterinarian or by making the PURINA Rib Check and comparing your dog to the PURINA Life Plan graphic on packaging.

How can you help your dog reach and/or sustain an ideal body condition?
Consult your veterinarian to determine whether your dog is sustaining the ideal weight and body condition for his size, age and breed. Then commit yourself to providing your dog with the proper diet and regular exercise, which are the optimum ways to maintain perfect body condition. To make it simpler for owners to feed to mint body condition from puppyhood through the older years, PURINA has developed the PURINA Life Plan - a extensive approach employing specified breed size and lifestage guidelines, the PURINA Body Condition System and feeding instructions to its packaging.

Read more articles on Caring For Your Dog at
http://www.purina.com.my
About the Author
Purina Petcare Company is a leader in the pet products industry, dedicated to improving the lives of cats and dogs through quality nutrition and care. Core philosophies include promoting responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement, and the positive bond between people and their pets. Check out more on Dog Care here.
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