When you are around your dog constantly, subtle changes often slip by unnoticed. A couple of gray hairs suddenly appear on his chin, or perhaps he’s slowed down a bit. Maybe you stop to take a good, hard look at him and think, “Has he lost weight?”
With obesity being such a concern today, it’s easy to forget that sometimes dogs experience the opposite problem and become too skinny.
For muscular breeds like the Cane Corso, the loss of a couple of pounds may not be a big deal, but anything more than that may indicate a larger problem that needs to be rectified.
Is your Cane Corso too skinny? If your Cane Corso is too skinny, the ribs may be visible, the spine and hip bones may be prominent, and the waist may have a sharply tucked appearance. A skinny Cane Corso will not have much fat or muscle cushioning the bones, especially the rib cage.
Keep reading to learn how to tell if your Cane Corso is too skinny, what may be causing the problem, and how to begin correcting the issue.
How to Tell If Your Cane Corso Is Too Thin
Evaluating whether or not your Cane Corso is too skinny isn’t difficult and only takes a minute or two. With a quick visual inspection and a hands-on exam, you’ll have a good idea of where your dog ranks in the body fat department.
Start by standing right behind your dog and looking straight down at him. Take notice of his waist, hips, and backbone. A slight indentation at the waist is normal, but a sharp, extreme inward curve is not. If the bones of his hips or spine are visible, he is definitely too thin.
Next, view him from the side, again paying close attention to the waist, hips, and spine. There should be a very slight upward slope from the rib cage to the hips, and the rib, spine, and hip bones should not be evident. If the abdomen rises sharply or any bones are seen, your Cane Corso is too skinny.
Run your hand lightly along your dog’s spine. You should be able to feel the backbone, but the knobs of the spine should not be prominent.
Next, place your thumbs together and rest them along the backbone. Use your fingers to gently probe the ribs. If you feel only skin and bone with no cushioning over each rib, your Cane Corso is too thin.
What Should a Cane Corso Weigh?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a Cane Corso’s weight is proportionate to his height. Not incredibly helpful if you’re worried about your Cane Corso being too thin, right?
Well, first of all, how tall should a Cane Corso be?
A male Cane Corso should be between 25 and 27 ½ inches tall at the highest point of the shoulder (also called withers). Females will be slightly shorter and reach a wither height of 23 ½ to 26 inches.
The average Cane Corso weight (full grown) is 88 – 120 pounds.
Generally speaking, if your Cane Corso’s height is at the lower end of the range, his weight should be on the lighter side of the scale as well. The same reasoning is applied to taller dogs too. They should be closer to the maximum ideal weight.
Some Cane Corsi naturally have a heavier frame (some would call this being big-boned) than others and thus would weigh more than a smaller boned Corso of the same height. So, it’s clear that your dog’s skeletal frame must be taken into consideration when evaluating his weight.
To clarify, here’s an example.
Say you have a male Cane Corso with a large frame who stands 27 inches tall. If he weighs somewhere around 110 – 120 pounds, his weight is likely just fine. However, if he only weighs 90 pounds, he may be too skinny, even though 90 pounds is within the normal range for the breed.
Another male of the same height with a smaller, less massive frame might appear chunky at 120 pounds but look perfectly healthy at 90 pounds.
It really depends on your dog’s build.
Possible Causes For a Cane Corso Being Underweight
Have you concluded that your Cane Corso is indeed too skinny? The next step is to discover why so that you can begin to restore him to an ideal weight and optimal health.
Many situations can cause a Cane Corso, or any dog for that matter, to become too skinny. A visit to your veterinarian is highly recommended. Most issues can be easily corrected, but some may be more serious; don’t delay in consulting your vet.
Common causes for weight loss include:
- A poor-quality diet.
- Internal parasites.
- Dental conditions.
- Health issues such as thyroid disorder, diabetes, or cancer.
How to Help a Skinny Cane Corso Gain Weight
Many times when a dog loses weight, muscle mass is lost as well (except when the weight loss was due to too much exercise). So, it makes sense that restoring an ideal weight involves more than simply increasing the percentage of body fat.
A nutrient-rich diet will be mandatory so your dog’s body can replace lost muscle, get back to a normal weight, and achieve better health in general.
Bringing your Cane Corso back up to a healthy weight won’t happen overnight. It will take time, focused effort, and patience. You can work through the following tips individually, but putting them all to use simultaneously will achieve the fastest results.
Offer Frequent Small Meals
Instead of two large meals daily, give your dog four or five smaller portions throughout the day. This will provide a steady flow of nutrients, fat, and protein all day long and aid in weight gain.
Temporarily replacing your Cane Corso’s regular kibble with either a top-quality puppy food like Diamond Puppy or a feed specifically formulated for active, working dogs like Purina Pro Plan Sport will increase the amount of fat and protein (both critical for healthy weight gain) your dog is ingesting at each meal and help him pack on a few pounds quickly.
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Dry cat food is usually higher in protein than regular dog kibble, and most dogs find its taste irresistible. The fat content is typically not as high as your dog needs, so don’t totally substitute this for quality dog food; just add half a cup or so to his regular meal to provide additional protein.
Add High-Quality Treats to the Diet
We’re not talking about Oreos or sugary power bars here. You want every bite of food offered to be as nutrient-dense as possible, not full of empty calories. Aim for nutrient-rich foods that are high in fat and protein, and feed as a snack or add them directly to your dog’s regular meals.
Try a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, a couple of boiled eggs (diced so they won’t be swallowed whole), a few spoonfuls of brown rice or oatmeal, or a trusted brand of canned food like Purina One Smartblend .
There are many weight-gaining, muscle-building supplements available today designed to help your dog gain weight the healthy way by supporting muscle development, not fat accumulation.
A daily multivitamin will provide your dog with an extra dose of essential nutrients (and is a good idea even for normal-weight dogs).
A high-calorie supplement given with each meal is another way to provide some additional calories. These supplements are easy to give your dog as they come in liquid, powder, or gel form and are all said to be highly palatable.
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Increasing physical activity may at first sound counterproductive if you’re trying to add weight to your dog, but when you consider that when a dog has lost a good bit of weight, muscle mass was compromised as well, then increasing exercise makes perfect sense.
Regular, moderate exercise will help your dog rebuild healthy, lean muscle which will add “bulk” to his frame and strengthen his overall condition while he works toward an ideal weight.
Last update on 2020-02-14 at 15:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API