Recognizing an overweight petMost people know that obesity is a problem for the human race, but what about our pets?
Most people know that obesity is a problem for the human race, but
what about our pets? The fact is, recent research indicates at least
40 percent of the American pet population is overweight. Experts
look at particular areas of the body to determine if a pet is packing
on extra pounds. They'll use a scoring system to rate the obesity of
the animal. Remember, weight varies among breeds, so these are
just a guideline. A dalmatian that scores one way will always be
skinnier than a bull mastiff who scores similarly. This system is
used in dogs:
1. Feel the ribs. There should be a slight amount of fat over the
ribs, but each should be distinct.
2. Check the area near the base of the tail. This area should feel
smooth, but you should also be able to feel the bones.
3. Feel other bony prominences, such as the hips or shoulders.
Too much fat is not a good thing.
4. Look at the pet from above. He should have a distinct waist.
5. Look at the pet from the side. Dogs and cats should have an
abdominal tuck, the area behind the ribs should be smaller in
diameter than the chest. An animal who is too thin will have a very
severe abdominal tuck. Overweight animals will have no abdominal tuck.
If you've determined your pet is overweight, bring him or her to the vet
for a second opinion and testing. Talk about your concerns and develop a
program that will help get your pet back on a healthy path.
There are many strategies that can assist a pet in losing extra pounds.