skinny or lean?

My Whippet is extremely lean, fit and athletic. He gets copious amounts of exercise and is part of a flyball team. He is on a diet suitable for active dogs and I am happy with his weight, but I get a lot of comments from other owners when out on walks, saying he is really skinny and looks like he needs ‘feeding up’. What are your thoughts on how to address these comments?

John Burns advises…

These days, more than 60 per cent of the dog population is overweight and a recent survey by the PDSA has shown that vets think this issue is still on the rise. This means that people are so used to seeing dogs who are overweight that when they see lean dogs, they are quick to comment on how ‘skinny’ they look.

Having a lean, fit dog is far healthier than having a dog who is overweight – no one will comment on overweight dogs when out on a walk, as this is a taboo subject and can cause offence. The reality is that overweight dogs are far more compromised than ideal weight or lean dogs and, in fact, it has been proven that an ideal weight dog will live for 2.5 years longer than an overweight dog.


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