Question of the week: Is my pet too fat?

One of the most common issues we deal with here at the clinic is animal obesity. Sometimes the truth hurts but our vets are very serious about educating our clients about the seriousness of this issue. Excess weight carries with it the risk of creating all kinds of other health problems including lack of mobility, skin issues, arthritis and diabetes amongst others problems.

So what are some things to look for when making this determination? First of all, you should be able to feel the ribs easily despite the fat layer that lies over them. You should also be able see a tuck around the waist when looking from above and the sides.

Even if your pet has a restricted diet and/or exercises regularly, weight may still be an issue. What works for one pet may not work for the other. Weight management plans must cater to the individual animal (just like in humans). It can be a challenge, but our doctors are happy working with you to figure out just the right balance of diet and exercise that will enable a healthy weight. Don’t get discouraged! We can always advise you on additional steps you can take to reach your pet’s goal weight.

Purina has a great chart for dogs and cats that you can use as a visual aid in determining if your pet is where they should be weight-wise. Too often we see obesity in pets as cute or amusing but as veterinary bills escalate as a result the joke is on us as pet owners.