First off, before you say that your dog is merely big-boned, or your cat is just a chunky monkey, let’s review some of the health risks of your pet being overweight:
- bladder & urinary tract disease
- liver disease
- thyroid problems
- torn knee ligaments
- kidney disease
- back problems
- heart problems – including high blood pressure & heart failure
- gall bladder disease
In short, a lot of the same risks a person has with regards to their weight, also affects dogs and cats. Being underweight is also not good, and can be a symptom of an underlying problem. In the quest for your pet being the best it can be, let’s figure out where your dog/cat fits on the obesity scale.
It’s not always easy to look at your dog objectively and be able to tell if your dog is at the ideal weight, especially if it’s really hairy, but it’s very important for their health that you are aware and willing to address it. This picture shows you how to identify an overweight or underweight dog…
Looking from above, you should be able to see a waistline, but no ribs, and you should definitely not be able to see the bumps of the spine! If the waist is equal or bigger than the chest, your dog is overweight.
Looking from the side, you should see a bit of a tummy tuck. If the line of the tummy is flat across from the chest or is larger, your dog is overweight.
And what about your cat? Is it on the tubby side?
Similar to dogs, you should not be able to see ribs, but still a waistline, and that swinging paunch is definitely a sign your cat is obese.
So what should you do if your cat or dog is overweight? Or underweight? Stay tuned! Or come see us at Tails, 1035 Coxwell Ave, East York for a personal (non-judgmental!) consultation.