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Obesity in a dog can lead to health problems and can itself be a sign of a serious medical condition. Monitor the weight of your lab with this simple test.

1. Check that your dog's ribs are not visually noticeable but are easily felt. This indicates that your dog is at a desirable weight.

2. Look at your dog from above. Some indentation behind the rib cage, depicting an hourglass shape, indicates that your pet is at a desirable weight.

3. Feel your dog's hips. Anything more than light fleshiness indicates that your dog is above normal weight.

4. Check your dog for a trim abdomen.

Regular exercise helps reduce weight.

A healthy dog's weight at 1 year of age often reflects his optimal body weight, though this is not true of dogs that are obese at 1 year. Your vet can also provide guidelines on the proper weight for your dog.
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