Canine Obesity—Body Condition Scores & Caloric Requirements

Canine obesity is a serious problem but, luckily, it’s 100% preventable (assuming there are no underlying medical conditions)! A good, high-quality diet and sufficient exercise are very important in a dog’s life. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help prolong his life, prevent injuries, and improve his overall quality of life. The image below shows the canine Body Condition Score chart. Keep in mind that some breeds will naturally be leaner and may not 100% follow the chart below. Most sighthounds, for example, are very lean dogs. Bone structure can also play a role and may cause hip bones to be visible even when the dog is at a healthy weight.

Body Condition Score - Dog

When it comes to a dog’s daily caloric requirements, many dog food manufacturers’ recommended portion sizes can be too much for some dogs. A guide to the recommended caloric intake based on weight for the average indoor dog can be found here: (this is a general guide for healthy, lightly active ADULT dogs and will NOT apply to all dogs).

On the contrary, recommended caloric needs listed in the link above or suggested portion sizes listed on a bag of food may not be enough for some dogs. For example, if your dog is needing to gain weight, if they are highly active, or if they have a high metabolism. You could have 2 dogs that are both 50lbs that receive the same amount of exercise but require very different daily caloric needs.

Please do your own research and consult with a canine nutritionist for information pertaining to your particular dog and his/her individual nutrition needs.

*The boxer in the photo above has a medical condition that causes her spine to protrude which is why it looks like her back is roached, but her overall body condition is healthy and ideal. Depending on the breed, you want to see an abdominal tuck when looking from the side and an hourglass shape when looking down at the dog from above. You want to be able to easily feel the ribs but not see them (they may be visible when the dog is breathing heavily).

The Importance of Nail Trimming

Keeping your dog’s nails short is vital for their health. Long toenails cause a myriad of problems for your dog:

  • Pressure in the nail bed when walking, which can then cause your dog to alter the way they walk which then affects joint health and muscles (imagine wearing a shoe that is a few sizes too small all day, every day).
  • Long nails can snag on blankets, carpets, furniture, etc. and might result in a vet visit if your dog gets hurt trying to free themself.
  • If a puppy’s nails aren’t kept short, this can potentially affect the growth of the foot and toes.
  • Can cause your dog to splay their feet when walking which is unnatural.

Maintenence & Trimming Schedule:

  • If the dog’s nails are very long and you’re trying to get the kwik (blood source to the toenail) to recede, you should file, Dremel, or clip your dog’s nails every 3-4 days.
  • Once the nails reach a desirable length (toenails not touching the ground when the dog is standing), you can reduce trimming to once a week or once every 2 weeks depending on the dog. Exceptions may apply, such as a dog whose nails grow very fast.

Helpful Videos:


If your dog doesn’t enjoy nail trims, join these Facebook groups for help & support Dog Nail Maintenence and Nail Maintenence for Dogs.

The Importance of Crate Training & Crate Types

Importance of Crate Training

The absolute safest and most useful thing you can do for your dog is to crate train it. Not only does it help with housebreaking, but it’s also great for:

  • Keeping your dog safe while unattended (prevents them from rummaging through trash or cabinets, counter surfing, destroying furniture, etc.)
  • If you ever stay at a hotel or someone else’s home with your dog
  • Having to be hospitalized at a vet
  • Going to a boarding facility or boarding at someone’s home
  • Needing to be on crate rest following an injury or surgery
  • Practicing being calm

Types of Crates

The most commonly used crate is a wire crate. These are easy to fold up & transport and are the most affordable, but they might not work for all dogs. Dogs who have phobias, separation problems, or destructive tendencies might do best in a different type of crate, such as ones that are chew-proof or create a den-like feel with an enclosed/dark space. Other crates to consider that are safer and more durable than wire crates are:

Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great sources for secondhand crates.

*Pictured at the top of the blog is the crash-tested G1 Intermediate Gunner Kennel.

Indiana Pet Friendly License Plates


Did you know that the Pet Friendly License Plate is the #2 highest seller in Indiana specialty license plates? Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana (SNSI) needs your help to get the Pet Friendly License Plate to the # 1 spot! $25 of the $40 cost of this specialty plate goes directly to SNSI. The more plates sold, the more spay/neuter surgeries SNSI can fund! SNSI donates spay/neuter certificates to rescues such as Tails and Trails Rescue, so by helping SNSI, you help the dogs of Tails and Trails Rescue and many other animal rescues in the state of Indiana. For more information, click the picture above or click HERE!


Callie – The Go! Go! Go! Border Collie

This is our girl Callie. Callie Baseball GameShe just turned 10 months old last week. For such a young girl, she’s had some ups and downs. She was adopted by an elderly couple as a pup, only to be returned when they realized she was too much for them. She’s definitely a ball of energy! Must get that from the border collie side. My boyfriend and I adopted Callie when she was just under 4 months old. The first month was pretty rough I’ll admit. While we loved her cuddly side, Callie was pretty sassy. She would back talk if scolded and we went through one heck of a chewing phase while she was getting her grown up teeth. (There’s a hole in our flooring to prove it!) She’s grown into quite a little lady. She still loves snuggles and she’s finally found her place in the pack.

Callie loves going on adventures now. She likes to hike, kayak, play fetch in the dog park, herd Mom and Dad, and jump all over new dog and people she meets. She makes new friends wherever she goes.Callie Kayak

She especially loves kids, probably because they’re just as noisy and wiggly as she is. She has an elderly kitty sister named Halfmoon that begrudgingly tolerates her presence. Sometimes they can even be caught cuddling if Callie is worn out enough. This go go go girl has really blessed our lives.Callie and Cat

Coco and Bonnie – Walk a Dog & You’ll Find a Permanent Job!

When we met Coco, we didn’t know she was 12 years old but she had that laid back personality that we needed.  I took her for a walk just to see how she handled a leash.  She was perfect.  I found out she loves her walks – Moe warned me, but was she ever correct.  We took her home and really fell in love with her.  We have had her since June 2014 and she has yet to use our yard for anything but rolling in the grass.  All pottying is done on our multiple walks.  She gets along with everybody and every animal.  She is a nice warning when anyone comes to the door, but doesn’t bark without a reason.  We got her dental problems taken care of and put her on meds for joint issues.

She would spend part of her day with her head in my husband’s lap.  He was failing and is now in a care facility, but she made his last month’s at home much better.  I’m am so glad she came into our lives and I vow to make the rest of her life as good as it gets.  I resolved to just adopt older dogs from here on out.


Quincy & Mia – The Dynamic Duo Completes a Family!

Tails & Trails Quincy &  Mia complete the family!

Tails & Trails Quincy & Mia complete the family!

My name is Cori and my family has adopted 2 wonderful dogs from Tails and Trails. We adopted Quincy in December of 2013 just before the New Year. He took no time at all to adjust to life with his new canine brother and sister and even enjoys chasing the cats around, though he’s not quite quick enough to catch up with them. Q & M 2

If you’re ever looking for Quincy chances are good that if he isn’t sitting in your lap you’ll find him snuggled up to his buddy Tucker or Mia; unless the heat is on in which case he’ll be snoozing over the heat vent.

Taking care of my human!

Taking care of my human!

We offered to foster Mia in September of 2014 after her owner passed away. It’s been quite apparent that Mia’s previous owner never left her side and interacted with her often. Mia expects you to pick her up every time you come home and ask her about her day. She loves pestering Quincy and even lets her human cousin Jordan “read” her stories and gladly sits in his lap.

These two have both brought so much energy and joy to our home, making it impossible to imagine life without them.

Q & M Superheros
Thank you Tails and Trails for completing our furry family!

Tucker – Tails and Trails Class of 2014

TuckerMy name is Pam and I adopted Tucker from Tails and Trails on November 16, 2014. I had lost my beloved basset, Wrigley, on July 23, 2014.  I really wasn’t looking for a new dog at the time, but I met Tucker at the Pet Expo in Indianapolis. I just couldn’t get him out of my mind. After pestering Tails and Trails for a few days, my adoption application was approved for Tucker and as they say, the rest is history. I am so thankful that I was allowed to make him a part of my family. He is well taken care of and is loved.   He has been good for me and I believe I have been good for him too!!Tucker and Pam

Introducing Rocket! Tails and Trails Class of 2014

Rocket setting an example to be a good volunteer!

Rocket setting an example to be a good volunteer!

Hi There! You might remember me. My name is Rocket and this is my best friend Diana! She adopted me back in October of 2014 at the Mega Adoption Event at the State Fairgrounds. I was surrendered twice…Now I realize it was so I would meet Diana.

She took the time to love me and train me and she lets me sleep in the bed! Oh, and she knows how to calm me down when I do my “crazy dog” run. I get to ride in the Jeep with her and they give me dog biscuits at the bank!

You might also remember I am a blood donor. We make a monthly trip to the Southside so I can help other dogs! She tells me every day how lucky she is to have found me… I know I’m such a lucky dog to have found my forever home!

Thank you for bringing us together!  Rocket
Diana and Rocket - Best Friends Furever