Over 50% of pets in the United States are overweight. Just like people, obesity can lead to other health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Obesity can even shorten your beloved pet’s lifespan. A lifetime study of Labrador Retrievers showed that even moderate obesity can reduce the pet’s life expectancy by two years. But, how do you know if your pet is overweight?
A pet’s body score is rated on a scale of 1 to 9, with 5 being ideal for most breeds. The best way to determine if your dog is overweight is to stand over them. You should be able to feel their ribs easily, without being able to see them (except in the case of certain breeds, like greyhounds and whippets). They should also have a nice taper at their waistline, with an hourglass figure. If your pet is oval or egg shaped, they are likely overweight.
Just like people, keeping your pet at an appropriate weight can lead to a longer and healthier life. If you are concerned about your pet’s weight, make sure to bring them into Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD to see your veterinarian, who will help you develop a weight loss plan so you can spend more time with your happy, healthy pet.