Is Your Pet Obese?

Obesity is one of the leading health maladies that veterinarians diagnose in domesticated cats and dogs. A lot of pets that don’t necessarily look obese are in fact over their weight limits, so it’s important to make sure your pet is maintaining a healthy weight. Use the following methods as discussed by your Briargate vet.

Feel Your Pet’s Ribs

Kneel down and gently feel your pet’s sides, right along the ribcage. It shouldn’t be difficult to feel the rib bones under the skin and a thin layer of fat. If you can’t make out the bones clearly with some gentle pressure, it’s a good bet your pet is harboring too much excess fat.

Examine Pet From Above

Straddle your pet and look down on her from straight above. Where the ribcage ends, you should be able to see a slight curve inward as your pet’s “waist” blends into the back hips. If you don’t see this curve, and there is instead simply a straight line from the rib area to the back hips, your pet is probably obese.

Examine Pet From Side

Now, get down on the floor and examine your pet’s body from a side view. Look again at the ribcage and belly area—do you see a slight upward curve into the back legs? If there’s a straight line instead of a gentle curve, it’s likely due to excess fat. Cats are especially prone to collecting fat in this area, so if you see a sagging area here, call your vet.

Look at Base of Tail

Another common zone for pets to collect fat in is at the base of the tail. Check out the area of your pet’s body where the tail begins. Do you notice extra padding or rolls of skin and fat there? Check with your vet to see if your pet needs to get on a diet and exercise plan.

Ask Your Vet

Perhaps the best way to find out if your pet is obese is to consult a veterinary professional. Set up an appointment to see your Briargate veterinarian as soon as possible. He or she can tell you for sure if your pet is carrying too much weight, and advise you on how to get your pet’s body composition back to normal.