You have probably made some New Year’s resolutions for yourself. What about for your pet?
The most common health problem we see in our patients is obesity, and often people do not even realize that their pet is overweight.
Why does it matter? After all they does need to look good in a bathing suit. Overweight and obese pets are much more prone to arthritis, respiratory difficulties, diabetes, and fatty liver disease.
How do I know if my pet is overweight? Feel your pet along their rib cage. There should not be so much fat that you cannot easily feel the ribs. There should also be a narrowing at the ‘waist’ between the chest and the hips, and the abdomen should be tucked up a little behind the rib cage.
How do pets get overweight? The same way we do, by eating more calories than they need. For dogs it is often the little extras and treats they get, especially if several family members are giving treats, without knowing what other family members are giving. In cats it is almost always because if feeding dry food without limiting the quantity. Genetics and exercise also play a role.
Like every other health problem, it is better to prevent than to solve the problem after the fact, so if you have questions about your pet’s weight and diet be sure to ask us at your annual health exam.
If your pet is overweight or you think he might be, call us to find out how we can help. We can calculate calorie amounts for a safe rate of weight loss, and suggest special diets that aid in weight loss.