Now that we know how expensive and risky obesity can be for our pets, the first question is how to figure out if your dog or cat is overweight or obese.
What an obese pet looks like
The simplest indicator of whether or not your pet is overweight is if you can see a waist – if you can, your dog is probably a healthy weight. If you can’t, it’s time to ask your vet about how Fido can drop a few pounds.
Antiochvet.com provides a simple visual chart for what a dog or cat’s waistline should look like:
More specifically, your pet is a healthy weight if:
- his or her stomach doesn’t sag
- you can see his or her waist from above
Your pet may be overweight or obese if:
- they have a flat, not rounded, back
- there’s no discernable waist
What an obese pet feels like
Since many dogs and cats have thick coats of long fur, it can be difficult to assess your pet’s weight by sight alone.
- You should be able to feel your dog or cat’s ribs through their fur.
- Your dog or cat shouldn’t have a belly you can grasp with your hand.
Now that we have a better idea of whether or not our pets qualify as overweight or obese, we’re ready to do something about it. Future posts will discuss dietary changes you can make to slim down your pup, and exercise for even the laziest house cat.