If you are fancying the Portuguese Water Dog (PWD), one of the things you have to consider is his size, particularly his weight. This rare breed falls in the medium category making him suitable in most family homes.
Though he’s not too heavy, there’s still a chance for him to balloon if there’s free access to food. Responsible owners have to stick with the prescribed meal schedule to keep the weight at a healthy range.
Know if your pooch reaches the ideal mass and learn how to maintain it through this detailed article. Keep reading!
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At What Age Does the Portuguese Water Dog Reach His Full Size?
Puppies grow faster than you would expect and in the case of the Portuguese Water Dog breed, it will only take him 18 months on average to achieve his full size. However, some would need at least two years to fill out the weight.
Each dog grows at his own pace so be patient about it. Meanwhile, enjoy his compact size as much as you can. Also, male Porties are usually heavier than females.
There are some factors to consider too like if the Portie puppy happens to be a runt. He’ll be considerably smaller than the rest of the litter, but with proper care, he can achieve the same ideal weight just like the rest of his siblings.
What’s the Ideal Weight of a Portuguese Water Dog?
The height and weight of your PWD must always be complementary. The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests that your dog be at least 35 to 60 pounds with a height that ranges around 17 to 23 inches.
Of course, these expectations will not always be met and these don’t absolutely determine if your pooch is healthy or not. The ideal mass provided by the AKC is just set out there to help define what the ideal Portuguese Water Dog’s measurements should be and encourage breeders to improve their stock.
How to Maintain Your Dog’s Normal Body Weight
It’s always good news for any Portie owner to know that their four-legged buddy grows up to be at the right size and weight. But, in case you suspect he either needs to gain more pounds or lose some, here are the things you can do to help:
One common misconception we have about exercise is that this only becomes necessary if a dog needs to lose weight. The truth, however, is that drills, workouts, and activities have to be incorporated regularly into his day-to-day life for the main reason which is to improve his joints, bones, and muscles.
This also keeps him boosted mentally and physically, as well as sweat out the excess fat. Sometimes, we can’t avoid ourselves from overindulging our pets with yummy treats. If this happens consistently, this puts your Portie at a higher risk of accumulating more fats in the body if exercise is almost non-existent.
Always aim to keep things balanced for a happier dog. This is one way to dodge the huge vet bills as well.
2. Planned-Out Diet
Not knowing the right amount of food to give to your Portie dog can lead to a lot of complications. Feeding him too little can cause him to become underweight and too much food can pave the way for obesity.
Talk to your vet and have your dog assessed so he can determine the right amount of food to be served in his bowl daily. Also, puppies would typically consume more as they require loads of nutrients in part of their rapid growth.
Generally, a Portie puppy would have to be fed 3 to 4 times daily. As he matures, the owner has to start transitioning the usual frequency to just two which means he needs to be fed in the morning and late afternoon (or evening) only.
3. Limit His Treats
Treats can be given at any time of the day as long as doing so is reasonable. If you are training your Portie to associate his crate with a positive experience, you need to reinforce his behavior with a delicious snack.
Not all treats are good though. Always check the label and ingredients. If you’re not sure what to give him for his reward you can consider the following vet-recommended options:
- Xylitol-free peanut butter
- Baked chicken meat
4. Don’t Starve Him or Avoid Crash Diets
No matter how overweight your Portie pooch is, never ever consider crash diets or worse, cause him to starve. The intention may be good but the outcome will cause serious damage to his well-being.
Crash diets are basically rapid weight loss game plans that would mean abruptly reducing your Portie’s food intake. This can heavily backfire and exhibit undesirable results such as a weakened immune system, risk of dehydration, cardiac stress, palpitations, and deprivation of essential nutrients.
This procedure makes the dog lose muscle mass instead of fat making the entire process unnecessary as it doesn’t achieve the set goal at all.
5. Keep Your Food Away
Another thing you can do to keep your pooch at a healthy weight is to avoid feeding him your food. You have to know as well that certain human foods can be poisonous for your Portie like chocolate, garlic, avocado, and macadamia nuts.
As mentioned, stick with his feeding schedule. During your meals, never build a habit for him to expect you to throw him food from the table. Instead, encourage him to be disciplined and not beg for food every time he sees you enjoying your plate.
Top Dog Food Brands to Keep Him at the Right Weight
Food is one of the factors that heavily influence the weight of the dog. Brands that mainly consist of high amounts of fillers would mean giving your dog fewer nutrients and getting him to weigh more.
Don’t hold back from investing in high-quality dog food brands. To help you out in searching for the right ones, we have listed a few below. Of course, vet consultation is still necessary.
- Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet: The first ingredient you’d see from Blue Buffalo is duck and that’s always a good sign. There are peas and pumpkins included in the formula to help your dog in his digestion. Since it’s packed with all essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, your dog will be less likely to feel hungry quickly after a meal, therefore, you can expect him not to beg for food all the time.
- Zignature Turkey Formula: Made with single-source protein, you can really depend on this Zignature Turkey Formula. The quality turkey along with other nutrients can satisfactorily suffice your dog’s nutritional needs and instinctual cravings.
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Premium Dry Dog Food: One thing your Portie dog would love about this dog food brand is that he’ll taste and feel the texture of the whole ingredients in a bowl. There’s no corn, wheat, and other gluten ingredients so you’re guaranteed that your pooch won’t quickly get hungry. Is it worth a buy? absolutely.