National Pet Obesity Awareness Day
HOW CAN OWNERS KNOW WHETHER THEIR DOG OR CAT IS OVERWEIGHT
First, you should be able to easily feel – and count – your dog’s ribs when you lightly run your fingers across the side.
Next, when you look down on your pet from above, you should see an hourglass figure or an indentation near the midsection. If your pet looks like a blimp from above, it’s packing on extra pounds.
Finally, when you observe your pet from the side as it stands, you should see a slight tuck or upward slope of the tummy. If the abdomen hangs low and drags near the ground (a condition in cats Dr. Ward calls “Swiffer cats”), that indicates the most dangerous and biologically active form of fat, abdominal fat, is present.
IS MY PET AT RISK FOR A MEDICAL PROBLEM DUE TO EXCESS WEIGHT?
This is a very serious question that you need to understand for your pet’s future. Dogs and cats carrying extra fat are at greater risk for developing debilitating diabetes, crippling arthritis, deadly high blood pressure, kidney disease, and many forms of catastrophic cancer. You need to have a frank conversation with your vet to find out if your pet is potentially facing one of these conditions. If so, what can you do to cut those odds? Preventing disease is my focus and one of the reasons I’m so passionate about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and proper nutrition. The most important decision you make each day about your pet’s health is what you choose to feed it. Choose wisely; your pet’s life depends on it.
It’s never too late to reduce your pet’s chances of contracting one of these grim disorders. Early recognition and awareness is the best defense against many diseases. Ask the question.
So there you have it, my five biggest questions you must ask about pet obesity. Of course, there are many more topics you need to discuss during your time with your veterinarian, but your pet’s weight should be covered at every exam. The few minutes you spend on diet and weight could well be the difference between two additional years of high-quality life or a shortened, suffering final stage of life. Take the time to write down these questions, ask your vet, and act on the answers. Together, you and your vet can chart a course for a better, longer, and happier life for your pet loved one. It’s totally worth it.
If you have any concern of the weight, please contact us for making an appointment to discuss with our vet!