Four Signs That Your Pet is Overweight

Multiple studies show that nearly half of all domestic dogs and cats are overweight. Equally disturbing is the fact that almost all obesity cases are caused by too much food and too little exercise! Wondering if your pet falls into the overweight category? Here, a Poway vet offers four ways to tell.

The Top View

Stand directly over your pet and look right down at him from above. Just behind the rib cage, there should be a slight curve inward to the back hips. If there isn’t a discernable “waist” line, and there is just a straight line from the shoulders to the back hip area, your pet is probably overweight.

The Side View

Get down on the floor and look at your pet from the side. Your pet’s belly should curve upward just behind the ribcage, blending in at the back legs. A lack of this curve, or a saggy area instead, probably indicates excess fat. Cats are especially likely to have excess fat in this area, so call your vet if you think your pet is showing signs of obesity.

Rib Examination

Put your hands on both sides of your pet’s body and feel the rib cage. Can you feel the ribs themselves by gently pressing into the skin? If you can’t seem to find your pet’s ribs, or there seems to be a thick layer between your hands and the rib bones, obesity could be the cause.

Base of the Tail

A lot of obese pets collect extra fat around the base of the tail. Look at the area right above where your pet’s tail begins. If you see folds of skin, fat rolls, or just extra padding, there’s a chance that obesity has already set in.

Your best course of action if you suspect your pet is overweight is to make an appointment with your Poway vet. He or she will be able to correctly diagnose any problem and get you started treating it immediately.

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