Signs That Your Dog is Underweight and How to Deal With It

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There's no doubt that we all love our four-legged pals a little more than we love ourselves. And why not? They are innocent, sweet, and selfless, making us want to shower them with the best of everything in this world. No wonder we cannot stop ourselves from picking up those toys and treats every time we spot one in the store, and those endless trips with them are a way of showing our love too.

They become an undeniable part of our life, and it is almost impossible to imagine it without them. However, despite all the care that we take to make sure our pets are happy, they could battle numerous issues. Yes, just like humans, dogs could battle obesity or underweight issues too. Does this get you thinking and make you wonder if your pet is healthy or underweight? Well, read on to find out if your dog could be underweight and how you could help them.

How to Know If Your Dog Is Underweight?

While the best way to determine if a human is underweight, healthy, or overweight is to calculate their BMI, things work differently in dogs. But don't worry, there are a few signs or ways in which you could identify if your dog is underweight. And if it turns out that your dog is underweight, don’t worry, you could always give them some nutritious dog food for weight gain and soon they would be that healthy, happy, and fit dog that you want them to be.

Profile Check:

Your dog's body, irrespective of the breed, has a structure. It is easy to spot a healthy dog by looking for one whose abdomen is higher than its ribcage and narrows down closer towards the tail. If the incline is steep towards the rear, you could say that your dog is underweight. However, if the incline is shallow, it could be that your dog is overweight. The best way to check this is to get down at your dog's height, stay by their side and look at them.

The Ribs:

Place your thumbs on your furry buddy's spine and open your hand towards their ribcage. If your dog is of the ideal weight, you would be able to feel their ribcage under the furry coat. And if your pet is obese, you would not be able to feel anything under the fat. However, if you can feel the bones instantly, without much effort, that's a sign that your dog needs more nutrition.

The Bird's View:

An hourglass figure is something most models aspire to hold, and we have heard of it. But did you know that an hourglass figure in a dog indicates that he is healthy, fine, and well-nourished? When you look from the top and get a bird's eye view of your dog, you will be able to see its shape better. If he has a figure that has a visibly narrow ribcage, it could be a sign that your dog needs more nutrition.

What Could You Do?

Diet Change:

First thing, if you are into a vegan or vegetarian diet, do not impose that on your dog. Their body needs the nutrition that comes from consuming meat. And if you cannot cook the same for them, you could always go for dog food which is made keeping in mind the nutrition needs of your dogs. You should also monitor your dog’s eating habits to see if they have changed drastically leading to them being underweight.

Besides these, most pets do not eat if their human isn’t around. So, if you have not been around for a while, your dog could be starving himself leading to weight loss. And that means feeding them right and spending more time with them could help them regain their weight.


Dogs love to play and walk, but their body needs more nutrition to stay in shape if they are over exercising. So, take a step back and evaluate the volume of physical activity that your dog gets. If it is excessive, try to cut it down gradually.

Professional Help:

The next time you visit a vet, make it a point to discuss your dog's weight issues. They would be able to perform a few checks to evaluate and rule out any underlying medical conditions. Health concerns could lead to a loss of appetite and a subsequent weight loss in animals too just the way it does with humans.

Following these tips religiously will help you gain visible results in a few months. And soon, your pet, even if he is underweight now, will start gaining healthy weight in the next few weeks. So, don't worry, and stay Pawsome!

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