Newfoundlands may not adjust well to a small yard or small apartment because of their sheer size. Because Newfoundlands are naturally large animals, owners may make the mistake of overfeeding them and cause obesity to develop in their pet. Newfoundlands are a husky breed, sometimes referred to as "Gentle Giants", at an average weight of 130 to 150 pounds and a height of 26 inches for a female and 28 inches for a male. Thus, they require a huge amount of food but the key is in the type given to the Newfoundland to avoid ill-effects on his health.
Consequently, a Newfoundland may appear soft and fat while being everything but. An owner should make a quick physical check that her/his dog's ribs and taut muscle can be easily felt. Some other approximations of a Newfoundland at a healthy weight include him being a little longer than he is tall and the distance from his withers to the lowest portion of his chest should be at least half of the dog's complete height. It is a Newfoundland's muscle, coat, and skin that can make him appear heftier than he really is. The types of food he ingests can determine whether or not he remains at a healthy size and maintains a shiny coat.
Since Newfoundlands need so much nourishment, his food can get expensive, but not so if the proper food is purchased. High-grade, meat-filled dog food is the main type of food a Newfoundland should eat. His food should be high in protein and carry a small percentage of fiber. If a Newfoundland owner wants to, she/he can make home cooked meals using no preservatives. This way, with the suggestions of a vet, a correct combination of carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, etc, can be achieved.
As puppies, Newfoundlands should not grow weight-wise too quickly. A Newfoundland should at least be four months of age before he begins eating adult food. The key is to allow the Newfoundland to grow large, but slowly and at a rate that keeps his muscle and fat ratio within a reasonable proportion. The health risks of a Newfoundland are similar to other breeds except that obesity can compound and exacerbate medical conditions that may arise. A Newfoundland could possibly suffer more and/or take longer to recover from an illness when he has an excess of weight.
Some ill-effects on health that obesity can bring on in a Newfoundland include pressure on joints which can lead to the development and aggravation of hip dysplasia, a type of arthritis. If his nutrition is not proper, then a Newfoundland can suffer from flaky skin, kidney problems, and/or yeast infections. Obesity can even cause a Newfoundland to have an incorrect gait and off kilter balance. A Newfoundland is happier and healthier when his owner manages his large girth responsibly.