It is estimated that over half of cats and dogs are overweight or obese, and here at our veterinary centre, obesity is a huge issue for our clients. Being overweight can lead to huge reduction in quality of life for pets, not only in day to day life, but it can lead to a host of other conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes. These problems can be very expensive to treat, as well as debilitating for the animal, and a reduction in weight can vastly improve or even eliminate some of these issues.
Is my pet overweight?
A huge part of the problem is that many pet owners are unaware of how heavy their pets should be, or how they should look. Many sighthounds in good health can look emaciated to the untrained eye, and for many “working” breeds, such as the Labrador, overweight animals seems to have become the norm.
Along with a standard weight range for different breeds, our vets use a scale known as the body condition score, to assess an animals weight. When viewed from above, the animal should have a noticeable waist, and from the side, there should be a visible tuck up at the stomach. You should also be able to feel your pets ribs fairly easily, with a minimal covering of fat.