Just as physicians recommend that people stay within a healthy weight range, the same is important for a family pet. Many pets do not get enough physical activity and are overfed, which can result in the pet becoming overweight. Many pet owners may be surprised to learn that overweight pets are at risk for health problems such as diabetes, joint problems, and skin disorders, just like humans.
The best way to help an overweight pet or a pet at risk for weight-related diseases is to put the pet on a diet. However, this should only be through a veterinarian’s recommendation. Make sure to call your local vet if you notice any of the following signs of weight gain in your cat or dog.
Take Notice of Your Pet’s Appearance
- Take a good look at your pet—he or she should have an hourglass-shaped figure with a clear waistline.
- Feel along your pet’s midsection to locate where their ribs stop. If you cannot feel the animal’s ribs, he or she is carrying too much weight.
- This is also where your pet’s waist is. If the waist bulges rather than indents, this is a sign your cat or dog is overweight.
Observe Your Pet
Observing your pet as he or she walks can help identify whether it is carrying too much weight on its frame. If your pet’s belly area sways or significantly protrudes, her or she is probably overweight.
Monitor His or Her Activity Level
If your pet has trouble while trying to groom or has trouble going on short walks or playing, he or she could be overweight and might need to start on a diet.
Consult with a Veterinarian
All pets need medical supervision to ensure good health and dietary adequacy. Before attempting to start any pet diets, first consult with a veterinarian to ensure your pet’s good health.
We repeat, only an experienced veterinarian like those on our team at Colleyville Animal Clinic can tell if a pet needs to start on a diet.