How to Care for Geriatric Dogs : Weight Gain & Older Dogs


So one of the problems that might be common
for an older dog is weight gain. So the dog because of sometimes lack of exercise but
you’re still feeding them the same amount or often times there’s a lack of exercise
or decrease in activity level and in fact they get fed a little bit more because feel
bad because they’re not as active as they normally or once were. We’re going to take
a look at Hannah here as an example. Hannah is in the process of losing some weight. You
can in the back here that she’s quite wide. You can see she’s got quite a large belly
right here. Because of her age, and she’s actually recovering from surgery 7 months
ago, her exercise level certainly was decreased, but it’s important, especially for a large
breed dog like this, that she is actually thinner than she should be normally even when
she was younger because she doesn’t have the muscle mass or the strength of bone to
carry her body around. There’s actually a chart that is put out by Purina and it shows
this is a lab, another breed that tends to be a massive body breed. Not quite as big
as a rotti, but certainly a fairly good size body. You can see most people’s dogs typically
fall from 7 to 9. If you look up here in the 4 to 5 range, this is really the ideal and
healthy body weight for your dog. Even though you might think well it looks a little bit
thin, this is healthier for your dog. There’s been research, there’s been studies. Followed
dogs from birth through death, and the study was over 13-14 years and it showed very very
clearly that dogs that were a little bit on the leaner side lived longer and had fewer
health problems. So weight is something you really want to watch out for in your geriatric
dog. As their activity level decreases, you need to decrease the food. One of the things
that you can do is add vegetables. If you don’t want to be giving your dog a half a
cup of dog food, but that’s all they really need to eat to maintain their health and their
appropriate weight, then you can add graded vegetables. Ideally, you would like to be
able to feel the ribs and you’d like to be able to see a bit of a waist and their should
be a tuck up right down here in front of the loin. Watch the weight of your geriatric dog
and if you find that they’re getting heavy, then you want to take the appropriate steps
to gradually bring that weight down.

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One thought on “How to Care for Geriatric Dogs : Weight Gain & Older Dogs

  1. i got the oposite problem with my doberman, he is very slim, too slim, he is 2 years old, very very tall on leg. i changed his food many time (because he is not interested into food) now he is kinda liking the puppy food. he is getting a little bit of weight. but i would like to see more result because we can see his ribs, spinal bode and hipsbone (he is all tested at the vet and he is full healthy)

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