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Discussion Starter #1
This isn't a question asking about whether my dog is underweight or overweight. I'm more curious about other people's views/knowledge. I'm also only talking slightly underweight versus slightly overweight not extremes of either.

So I've heard the arguement slightly underweight is preferred over slightly overweight. Mainly based on the discussion of stress on the joints. However what about the stress of every other system of the animal? Underweight says to me the animals has no/little body stores and isn't getting all the nutrients it needs. A slightly overweight animal has body stores. In nature this animal would be healthy enough to reproduce, survive winter, perhaps an injury or illness. However the slightly underweight animal may not have the body stores to maintain a healthy pregnancy so it miscarries or has a slightly unhealthy baby. Maybe doesn't make it through a harsh winter.

Now I realize these are domestic animals we have but the concepts are the same. I'm not saying let your dog get fat or highly overweight I think they should stay fit. But I do not think that underweight is better or preferable, I think it is just as bad, they just both have different risks/issues.
 

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would you rather be overweight or under?????

I'd rather be slightly overweight than under. I'm not talking in extremes either. I'd rather be a couple pounds over ideal than a couple pounds under ideal.
 

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Humans are healthier when slightly underweight. Studies to show a link with weight and many diseases.

Dogs are not humans and shouldn't be treated as such. If you can purposely keep your dog underweight then you can purposely keep your dog at the right weight. Fit and healthy should be the goal. Not over or under weight.
 

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For me the question is more about what weight or condition is ideal. And for most dogs I see "ideal" is somewhat less than they currently weigh.

I think most people would look at my dog and say she's underweight or too thin. But her weight has fluctuated, and her energy and stamina vary along with her weight. Just a few "extra" pounds slows her down noticeably!
 

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@Kazel, I agree 100%. It has been quite a few years ago when doctors stopped telling people to knock off those last few pounds, especially the elderly, for the very reasons you mentioned.

I worked a lot of years in rescue and it was always the ones that could use a couple of pounds that did not fair well in times of sickness and illness.

A wildlife vet once said that an animal in the wild that is underweight is either sick or lacking adequate food resources.

I have to question dogs being kept underweight in the US as I do not see the same in other countries especially in working dog venues. Dogs that are of a lighter weight seen competing in Europe are generally smaller and/or finer boned dogs with a more refined overall appearance while other dogs I see competing, if a picture were to be posted on on this forum, would be labeled fat. Maybe the weather is very different in Europe creating a thicker coat that obscures the build or maybe the camera adds a few pounds but there are no ribs to be seen.

It is a good question and I would love to see responses from the experts as to the marked difference in weight seen in this country vs that overseas.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Humans are healthier when slightly underweight. Studies to show a link with weight and many diseases.

Dogs are not humans and shouldn't be treated as such. If you can purposely keep your dog underweight then you can purposely keep your dog at the right weight. Fit and healthy should be the goal. Not over or under weight.
I realize that the goal is a fit healthy dog. However I've seen a lot of people say it's better your dog is underweight than overweight. Just recently on a group I'm in there was a dog obviously underweight, hip bones protruding, ribs sticking out not just visible, spind etc. the owner was looking for tips on how to help the dog gain weight and some people tried to say it was at a healthy weight and too many people are used to overweight dogs and I could also see the arguement that it's better for it be underweight come up in that scenario. (Some of the people saying it was at a healthy weight posted pics of their dogs as a comparison, and their dogs were actually fit and lean. But not underweight like this dog was. However they are used to people calling their dogs too skinny because people are used to an overweight look being the norm.)

And in my comparisons I was trying to compare to animals as much as possible. Unfortunately in the classes I'm taking at the moment we talk more about herbivores/livestock than canines and such.
 
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