While your pet may be cute at any size, there are certainly some health challenges associated with pet obesity. A veterinary professional can help get your pet to a healthy size, and they can also help your pet do it in a healthy way.
North Central Animal Hospital in Phoenix, AZ offers pet care for pets of all sizes. If you want help fighting this problem, here's what you need to know.
How Veterinarians Check for Obesity
Our veterinarian will examine your pet's body and provide a score based on what they notice. The body score involves feeling for the ribs, checking for a visible waistline, and determining if your pet has a hanging belly or a tucked tummy.
What Is the Ideal Pet Body?
Healthy dogs have ribs that can be felt, but there may be a bit of fat covering them. The dog's waist will be visible, and there will be some tucking up of the abdomen toward the pelvis.
The ideal body for a cat has a clear waist with ribs you can feel. There is a small pad of fat on the abdomen.
When Is a Pet Too Thin?
Pets can be too thin. Your pet may be too thin if he or she has pelvic bones, ribs, or lumbar vertebrae that are prominent even from a distance. Pets should have some visible muscle mass or fat, and cats typically have a fat pad on the stomach.
When Is a Pet Obese?
Obese pets may not have ribs the vet can feel due to significant fat coverage. These pets will not have a visible waistline, and the belly hangs down so that there is little or no visible tuck of the abdomen near the pelvis. Extremely obese pets may have fat on the limbs and neck.
How to Promote Healthy Weight Loss
The veterinarian will make some healthy recommendations for pet weight loss. One of the best things you can do for your pet is to reduce his or her calorie intake. Your vet will recommend healthy food that contains nutrients without empty calories. You can limit treats and table scraps in your pet's diet while also developing an exercise plan for your pet. Stimulation, like jumping and climbing, may be beneficial as well.
Get Veterinary Help for Pet Obesity
North Central Animal Hospital in Phoenix, AZ, helps pets lose weight to become healthier. Call our clinic today at (602) 395-9773 to get started with a health program that benefits your pet.