Did you know that over 50% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight according to the latest veterinary surveys? An obese pet is at greater risk of developing severe health problems. Is your pet fat?
What are the Health Risks?
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Many forms of cancer
How can I tell if my dog or cat is overweight?
There are many Body Condition Score (BCS) charts you can find online, but here are a few guidelines for dogs and cats:
- Obese – It is difficult to feel the ribs because there is a thick layer of fat. The base of the tail is thick and it is difficult to feel the tail base because there is a thick layer of fat. When viewing your pet from above, the back is widened and no waist definition. When viewing your pet from the side there is no waist and your cat may have that hanging belly that swings from side to side when it moves.
- Overweight – It is hard to feel the ribs because there is a sufficient layer of fat. The base of the tail is somewhat thick and hard to feel because of the layer of fat between the bone and the skin. When viewing your pet from above the back is widened and there is little if any waist definition. When viewing your pet from the side there is little if any belly tuck and your cat may still have that hanging belly that swings from side to side when it moves.
What is the ideal body condition for my dog or cat?
- You can easily feel the ribs.
- You can feel the base of the tail.
- When viewing your dog or cat from above there is a defined waist.
- When viewing your dog or cat from the side there is a belly tuck.
What can I do to help my overweight pet?
Cutting back on their food and increasing exercise are two great places to start. Talk to your veterinarian about how much you should cut out of your pet’s diet and how much exercise they suggest. This is also a great time to rule out any health issues that are already present or are brewing.
Start increasing your pet’s exercise gradually. Just like you can’t get from couch potato to marathon runner, neither can your pet.
While you can grab a leash, and take your dog for a walk, exercising cats take a little more creativity. Use your cat’s inner hunting instinct and play, play, play. Cats are more active at sunrise and sunset, so those are the times you will get more play activity from your cat.
If you don’t have the time to exercise your dog or cat, consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to get your pets moving.
Dances with Dogs has a proven track record of helping pets drop unwanted pounds. Click here for more information on how we can help you help your dog or cat lose the weight.